SF 49ers vs. Patriots: 5 matchups that will decide Week 7 outcome
By Peter Panacy
No. 5: Who turns the ball over more, SF 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo or Patriots’ Cam Newton?
Unlike 2019, when Jimmy Garoppolo boasted one of the league’s highest interception percentages (2.7), San Francisco’s signal-caller has done a relatively good job protecting the ball.
There were those two picks thrown in the SF 49ers’ Week 5 loss to the Miami Dolphins, yes, although one should factor in Garoppolo’s high-ankle sprain that influenced the general lack of zip he had on his passes.
To date, those have been Garoppolo’s lone interceptions thrown.
Kyle Shanahan has aided Jimmy G’s cutdown on interceptions by giving him shorter, higher-percentage throws for much of the season. And in a game against a still-good Patriots defense, tied for eighth with six interceptions this season, this approach will be vital once again.
In contrast, Cam Newton hasn’t exactly done a great job protecting the ball. Over his four starts, Newton has tossed two touchdowns against four interceptions, and his 3.4 interception percentage on 116 pass attempts ranks sixth highest among qualifiers.
Granted, the Niners aren’t exactly coming away with interceptions at an alarming rate, boasting just four so far this season.
But if turnovers ultimately determine the outcome of the game, one has to feel a little better siding with Garoppolo over the 2015 NFL MVP.