No. 1: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
We all knew where this was heading.
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And, frankly, to boost the confidence of every 49ers fan.
While he got off to another rocky start, the Niners starter seemed to get more and more confident as the game went along, eventually finishing the first half 14-of-20 for 188 yards and a touchdown.
To be fair, the Chiefs defense isn’t as strong a unit as the one Garoppolo faced last week in Denver, but the extended time on the field allowed him to get into a better rhythm.
Whereas last week he had a few awkward throws to start, and then found himself out of the game quickly after, he was given the chance to grow into the game and soon began looking more like himself.
The first few throws of the night still looked a little uncomfortable, to be sure, and even some of his completions — such as a sideline throw to wide receiver Dante Pettis that looked like it hung in the air for a little longer than the quarterback might have liked — didn’t look great. But given the state of how things felt a few days ago, Garoppolo was miles better and seemed more prepared for Week 1 in Tampa.
There still might be some pains, as Garoppolo looks to get back to full strength from his ACL tear last September, but this game was a major step in the right direction.
That should allow a collective sigh of relief from 49ers fans, as if seems the rumors of Garoppolo’s demise were greatly exaggerated.