Position grades, analysis from SF 49ers ugly Week 1 loss vs. Cardinals

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Niner Noise breaks down the positions during the SF 49ers Week 1 loss to the visiting Cardinals.

After an offseason of optimism and the attitude of the players that they were on a “revenge tour,” the SF 49ers got a nasty reality check as they were humbled at home by the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 24-20.

After an early 10-0 lead, the Niners offense was stagnant and unable to break through the determined Arizona defense.

While the San Francisco defense was gallant, inevitably gassed late in the game by the lack of its own offensive prowess, the defensive side of the ball was also slightly flattered by the fact Arizona whiffed on two field goals.

Eventually, the SF 49ers were no longer able to properly adjust on defense (more on that later), while the Cardinals holding down  on third down, proved to be the difference at the end of the day with a late Niners drive falling short in the end zone.

Time to take a look at the performance from Week 1.


Sometimes, looking at the stats at the end of the game can be awfully misleading as to what effect a player had on the game, and this is true for Jimmy Garoppolo.

In fact, it must be said that he didn’t have a good game whatsoever.

The stat line looks fine. If one looked at the final stats it would read 19 completions from 33 attempts, 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

That seems fine, right? You’re not going to be the big story on ESPN, but it’s not exactly a disgrace either.

Unfortunately what this doesn’t show is Garoppolo routinely missing open receivers, and that one of his touchdowns was basically all running back Raheem Mostert blowing by a Cardinals blown coverage.

It also doesn’t show the second touchdown was preceded by a stroke of luck when Garoppolo carelessly threw a pass into triple coverage which was picked off. Luckily, the Cardinals committed blatant pass interference and the ball was given back to San Francisco.

It wasn’t the only time Garoppolo went back into his bad habits either. He was constantly slow to release the ball, and the final drive ended on fourth down in no small part due to Garoppolo not pulling the trigger early.

It wasn’t entirely bad news, though. Garoppolo did well to drive the team down the field twice in the fourth quarter, there was some nice throws, and no preseason games does make it a bit difficult to get into a rhythm and he was down his top two receivers.

But on the day, Garoppolo did not look very good at all.