No. 3: Preventing Jimmy Garoppolo from Turning the Ball Over
In many facets, some of the criticism of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is unjustified. Sure, he might not pass for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns each and every game. But for many of the Niners’ wins this season, he hasn’t had to.
After all, Garoppolo is completing 69.0 percent of his passes this year, which ranks sixth best among qualifiers, while his 101.2 passer rating is 10th.
But there have been problems with Garoppolo turning the ball over. This was much more a problem earlier this season, and Garoppolo has tossed a total of 10 interceptions on the season. And while he’s cut down on the picks thrown in recent weeks, his 2.8 interception percentage still ranks eighth highest among qualifiers.
And he has been prone to fumbling, too.
Garoppolo has fumbled nine times this season, and a key one happened in Week 13 in Baltimore, which the Ravens were able to generate a touchdown afterwards.
Ball protection could be crucial for the Niners down the stretch, and Garoppolo can be a part of the solution to ensure it if he does a better job protecting the ball.