5 underperforming 49ers who must play better after Week 6 bye
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Another depth-chart move San Francisco seems intent on is keeping Jimmy Garoppolo in as the team’s starting quarterback despite the eventual need to transition over to the rookie, Trey Lance, who looked entirely underprepared in his first-ever NFL start in Week 5 amid Garoppolo’s calf injury.
The 49ers haven’t exactly handled this situation well, but nevertheless, Kyle Shanahan is still likely to press forward with Garoppolo under center after the bye week. Even if that’s a questionable decision.
At any rate, Garoppolo hasn’t exactly been lighting up the charts at the head of the NFL’s No. 15-ranked scoring offense, averaging 231.3 pass yards per game with five touchdowns against two interceptions. And as per usual, Garoppolo’s intended air yards this season are just 6.5, meaning defenses are again cheating towards the line of scrimmage and in between the numbers, knowing he won’t test the field deep or down the sidelines.
If the Niners offense is going to get into full form, Garoppolo will have to make some measurable improvements in those areas. It might be beyond him to suddenly turn into a down-the-field passer, but being more efficient with his targets and dispersing the ball more should certainly help.
If not, Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense will continue to look like the inconsistent group it’s been for the first five games of the season.