No. 4: Jimmy Garoppolo displays clutch ability
Garoppolo has taken heat from his critics over the first three weeks of the 2019 regular season. Some of it is warranted, but the majority has been ill-advised bashing with no real substance.
After the 49ers’ Week 1 game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was that he still looked rusty after returning from the ACL tear suffered in Week 3 of last season. The defense produced 14 points off two interceptions and was touted as the reason for the team’s 1-0 start.
Week 2 saw a reversal of fortunes, as the quarterback nearly surpassed 300 yards in the air with three touchdowns. Yet many were still unimpressed with his play and didn’t believe him to be the franchise quarterback the Niners are paying him as.
Week 3 and the 49ers home opener brought a mix of analysis and grading. Yes, the 49ers turned the ball over five times and three of those were the result of plays Garoppolo was directly involved in.
But it was Garoppolo taking advantage of what the 49ers defense gave him that mattered most. Most notably, the final touchdown drive that saw him escape three would-be sacks on a single play.
It’s not often you find a quarterback who takes being hit in the mouth (something that appeared to happen in this game) and thrives on it. Garoppolo is that player. Reducing the number of hits he takes, though, is something Shanahan will undoubtedly focus on moving forward.