Jimmy Garoppolo, SF 49ers bounce back in crucial win vs. Rams

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers needed a win in Week 6 over the LA Rams, and Jimmy Garoppolo had to be a huge reason why. And he was, getting the Niners to 3-3.

So much for the SF 49ers needing to consider whether or not moving on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Niners needed to pull off an upset win over the visiting Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in the worst way possible, if for nothing else than just to stay pace in what’s been a challenging start to the season and a rough NFC West where bouts like these were crucial in determining the pecking order.

Thanks to Jimmy G’s three-touchdown first half in prime time, San Francisco pulled off an impressive 24-16 win over its NFC West rivals and moved to 3-3 on the year in the process.

The Niners managed to get on the board first with a perfectly executed six-play, 76-yard drive culminating with a 6-yard touchdown grab on a shovel play to wide receiver Deebo Samuel:

San Francisco managed to stifle Los Angeles’ offense over the first quarter, holding quarterback Jared Goff to a 1-of-6 mark for 17 yards over the opening frame.

Goff finished the game 19-of-38 for 198 yards, two touchdowns against an interception with a 72.0 passer rating.

His counterpart, Garoppolo, was still nursing his high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 2 and dealing with criticism after being benched halfway through the SF 49ers’ Week 5 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Yet Garoppolo bounced back well enough, including this 44-yard touchdown pass to tight end George Kittle on 4th-and-2 early in the second quarter to make it 14-0 in favor of San Francisco:

The Rams responded with a touchdown of their own, but EDGE Dion Jordan blocked the extra-point attempt to keep the score 14-6 in favor of the Niners.

Fortunately, the SF 49ers responded with a touchdown of their own, Garoppolo hitting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 21-6 going into halftime.

L.A. made it 21-9 with a field goal on its opening second-half possession, forcing some more overthrows from Goff.

Running back Raheem Mostert, who had 65 yards on 17 carries, exited the game early with an ankle injury, raising some questions about how well the Niners offense would continue its rhythm in the second half.

Instead, the Rams appeared to have all the second-half offensive momentum and were in the red zone on 4th-and-goal, only to have cornerback Jason Verrett pick off Goff for a key turnover to keep it 21-9 in favor of San Francisco:

Huge play.

L.A. made it interesting late by tacking on a fourth-quarter touchdown to wide receiver Josh Reynolds, but that proved to be too little, too late.

SF 49ers get the good version of Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo’s criticisms in Week 5 were certainly warranted, prompting the idea he might not be the long-term answer in San Francisco, especially after his two-interception performance over one half of football.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan did the right thing by going with short high-percentage throws where Jimmy G didn’t have to hold onto the ball long. This largely negated the effect of Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had one tackles, zero sacks and one quarterback hit.

And while many of Garoppolo’s throws were barely beyond the line of scrimmage, some of which even behind it, he still managed to go 23-of-33 for 268 yards, three touchdowns against zero interceptions with a 124.3 passer rating.

Garoppolo wasn’t helped much in the second half, dealing with a number of his receiving targets dropping easy passes, including Kittle and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne on key third-down plays that would have all but iced the outcome.

Still, Garoppolo’s efforts were nothing less than excellent, and one can only hope that’s the tendency for San Francisco’s quarterback when he travels next week to take on his old team, the New England Patriots.

Next. 5 reasons 49ers bounce back with win vs. Rams in Week 6. dark

It’s sure better to make that trip on the back of a win.