Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in Week 1 versus the Lions, and he’ll be tasked with three key items to do on Sunday.
He might have won the San Francisco 49ers‘ starting quarterback job. But in order for Jimmy Garoppolo to retain that role and push off any questions about the rookie, Trey Lance, taking over sooner than later, the veteran will need to ensure head coach Kyle Shanahan made the right choice naming him No. 1 on the depth chart.
Fortunately, the Niners’ 2021 season opener on the road versus a rebuilding Detroit Lions squad presents the perfect opportunity for Garoppolo to go up against a defense that shouldn’t pose too big a problem right out of the gate.
Lions EDGE Trey Flowers is a force, yes, but Pro Football Focus ranked Detroit’s defensive line 24th entering the year.
Even better, at least for Garoppolo and Co., PFF ranked the Lions secondary third worst at the start of the season.
A more balanced and fully healthy San Francisco offense should make life for Garoppolo a bit easier. Yet with so much pressure on Garoppolo to retain his starting job, and with the 49ers fully expected to compete for a playoff berth this season, a Week 1 game against a weak Lions team is one the Niners are expected to win.
And probably win big.
Garoppolo doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. But he should do more than just be a game manager who helps the rest of the offense do what it does best.
As such, here are three items he’ll look to achieve against Detroit in Week 1.