No. 1: SF 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
We all saw Jimmy Garoppolo struggle in his return from a high-ankle sprain in Week 5 at home against the Miami Dolphins. It was apparent he was having a hard time planting and throwing with any zip on the ball.
But against the Rams two weeks ago, Garoppolo looked much more comfortable and poised in the pocket. He was decisive with his passes, completing nearly 70 percent for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers
He followed that up with another solid performance last Sunday on the road against the Patriots. And while his overall passer rating was just 79.5, he looked sharp once again, completing 20 of 25 passes for 277 yards. He did have the one high throw intended for George Kittle that was intercepted, and a “hail mary” throw just before the half that accounted for his interceptions, but he was able to move the ball at will against a Patriots defense that came into the game ranked sixth overall.
As we mentioned before, the Seattle defense is on a record pace for futility, ranking dead last in the NFL ahead of their Week 8 showdown with the SF 49ers. This group has yielded 2,212 yards passing through their first six games, so Garoppolo and this Niners offense should be able to move the ball through the air.
In last year’s season finale against the Seahawks, Garoppolo completed 18 of 22 passes for 285 yards for a 118.7 rating against a much better Seattle secondary.
And while each season brings with it a new set of circumstances and challenges, it can only serve to enhance Jimmy G’s confidence in playing at vaunted CenturyLink Field, especially with the lack of fans in the stands.
Division games in the NFC West tend to be knockdown, drag-out affairs, especially when all four teams have winning records.
But with Seattle struggling as much it has, defensively, the SF 49ers offense should put up big numbers on Sunday, and hopefully leave CenturyLink with a big win as well.