Jimmy Garoppolo: 4-week progress report for 49ers quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Jimmy Garoppolo game management progress report

What exactly is game management?

Well, our definition is the ability to effectively manage a game. And while there’s no one standard to quantify that, there are some evaluatory tools to help determine how good a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo can be in various situations and how he responds to the ebb and flow.

One can make the argument games are won or lost in two key areas: third downs and within the red zone.

Interestingly enough, the 49ers’ red-zone offense has been awfully effective this season, scoring touchdowns on every one of its appearances within the 20-yard line, tops in the NFL through four weeks.

Garoppolo has been solid here with three touchdowns thrown and a passer rating of 110.8, by far the highest out of any measured spot on the field.

Third-down tries, however, are a bit more misleading. True, Garoppolo’s third-down completion percentage is a respectable 64.3 with a 105.1 passer rating. But on 28 third-down pass attempts, Garoppolo has connected for a first down just 12 times. A successful third-down conversion rate of just 42.9 percent.


Part of the measure could be assisted by looking at Football Outsiders’ ALEX metric, which evaluates yards needed on third down to get to the first-down marker and how short, at or beyond a quarterback hits that mark via air yards traveled.

Garoppolo is at minus-0.2, which ranks 28th out of 32 qualifiers. The mean average is plus-2.0.

He is, on average, throwing behind the first-down marker and hoping his receivers make up the difference. And this might partially explain why the Niners’ third-down conversion rate this season is only 37.5, 21st in the league through four weeks.

49ers Progress Report Grade: B-