Jimmy Garoppolo: 3 keys for 49ers QB in Week 7 vs. Colts

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: Jimmy Garoppolo must target 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk… a lot

This is a bit of a two-fold argument, especially in light of second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk scantly being a part of San Francisco’s offensive game plan for almost all of 2021 thus far.

Aiyuk, so impressive his rookie season, has just eight receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown over five games played this year. True, Jimmy Garoppolo’s injuries a season ago meant he and Aiyuk weren’t necessarily allocated enough time to develop a lot of chemistry. But as Week 5’s two-catch, 32-yard performance from Aiyuk showcased, good things tend to happen when quarterbacks get the ball into the 2020 first-round draft pick’s hands.

It needs to happen more, both for Garoppolo to have another pass-catching target aside from fellow wideout Deebo Samuel, and to help get Aiyuk back into the limelight.

Read More: Now’s the time for 49ers to get Brandon Aiyuk more involved

Despite a forecast for rain and wind Sunday night, this shouldn’t be too difficult. The Colts are already shorthanded in their secondary, losing safety Julian Blackmon to a season-ending Achilles tear. Starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin also could miss Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, and fellow corner Xavier Rhodes is questionable with an ankle injury, too.

This would put an immense amount of pressure on Indy’s reserve cornerback, Kenny Moore II, who has a lowly 46.4 pass-coverage grade from Pro Football Focus and has surrendered a 107.2 passer rating when targeted.

Aiyuk should be matched up against Moore, and Garoppolo should exploit this.