No. 3: Jimmy Garoppolo can’t get away from SF 49ers’ play action
A good run game, at least one an opponent respects, helps set up play-action schemes to increase the chances of a receiver getting open when defenders bite, even for just a split second, on the play fake.
It’s Football 101. And the Niners got away from it during Week 1, particularly in the second half when there wasn’t a substantial difference in the score to mandate a pass-only offense.
Jimmy Garoppolo had nine play-action passes against the Cardinals, which actually was higher than the roughly eight play-action attempts per game he had during 2019. One of the differences, though, is Garoppolo’s passer rating on play-action attempts last season was 113.4.
On Sunday, Jimmy G’s passer rating on such plays was 83.1, and two of his three sacks taken occurred here.
The tendency for Garoppolo to hold onto the ball for too long in Week 1 influenced this. And it could call for Kyle Shanahan to dial up more traditional dropback plays instead of utilizing play action.
But the greater body of work indicates Garoppolo thrives much more in play-action situations, which carries over the need for San Francisco not to abandon the run game at any point during Sunday’s contest.