Jimmy Garoppolo: SF 49ers quarterback proved doubters wrong vs. Jets

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Jimmy Garoppolo was under scrutiny following the 49ers’ Week 1 loss to the Cardinals, yet he answered the call well enough in Week 2 before his injury.

The San Francisco 49ersJimmy Garoppolo is one of the most criticized quarterbacks in the NFL. He is constantly critiqued by the NFL media unlike almost any other player at his position. Despite the success, he has found he is still more harshly criticized then others.

He had a phenomenal season in 2019 after tearing his ACL in 2018, passing for 3,978 yards (fourth most in a single season in franchise history) and was tied for the NFL lead in fourth-quarter comebacks.

Yet the criticism persisted after things fell apart for him late in Super Bowl LIV.

Entering 2020, Garoppolo had a rough first game back against the Arizona Cardinals. Yes, the numbers were OK — 19-of-33 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions — but the inaccuracy and indecisiveness were there again. And this makes him a very interesting player to look at.

Yet Garoppolo is a good quarterback. Is he in the same ilk of the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson or the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers? No, he is not. But he is good enough and capable enough to win games, including playoff games.

Garoppolo bounced back nicely for the first half against the New York Jets in Week 2 before exiting with an ankle injury. That proves the doubters wrong, so let’s break down some moments from the Jets game that prove Garoppolo is a competent quarterback and can win games.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s decisiveness

One of the biggest critiques of Garoppolo from Week 1 was his hesitancy to throw the football. He looked extremely uncomfortable in that matchup against the Cardinals for whatever the reasons. Garoppolo isn’t normally afraid to throw the football, but in Week 1, he was very obviously very hesitant.

In Week 2 against the Jets, however, he was not afraid at all. Jimmy G looked a lot more comfortable in the pocket and throwing the ball. He felt a lot more confident where he was throwing as well. He felt more comfortable with his targets and made some nice throws, particularly the dime of an incompletion to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne that was dropped, yet that didn’t change him from looking like a very confident quarterback.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s footwork improved in Week 2

A big problem for Garoppolo in Week 1 was his bad footwork. He would not drop back properly and would not step into his throws. That made his throws inaccurate and off.

This was a big problem in Week 1.

In Week 2, his footwork was much better. He stepped into his throws better. Overall, Garoppolo looked a lot more confident in himself, and that helped his overall skill set and getting the 49ers out to a 21-3 halftime lead, completing 14 of his 16 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

He was very efficient and was on track for a huge game, only to see the high-ankle sprain suffered earlier in the half ultimately remove him from the action in quarters three and four.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s overall toughness, both mental and physical

That high-ankle sprain early in the game should be mentioned for a number of reasons. He continued to grind out the rest of the half and be incredibly efficient. The fact that he was able to finish the first half of the game on a bad ankle sprain and produce is very impressive.

Despite hobbling around within the pocket, Garoppolo still delivered passes with confidence and accuracy.

The mental aspect of the game is something Garoppolo is very confident in. He never seems to waiver, and he is very good at reading the defense and changing the play on the fly. Overall, he is very strong and doesn’t lose his confidence and keeps focusing on the game.

Final Thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo might never be as good as Wilson or Rodgers.

And that’s fine.

Next. 3 goals for Nick Mullens in relief of Jimmy G. dark

Jimmy G does have a lot of talent, however, and he is a very competent quarterback. He has a lot of natural talent that gives him the tools to be an extremely good signal-caller for San Francisco.