No. 2: Jimmy Garoppolo must get the ball out quickly vs. Colts
Interestingly enough, Jimmy Garoppolo has actually done an OK job this season getting rid of the ball, which is probably a key reason why he’s posting a 4.8 sack percentage through four starts this year, the lowest that number has been since his five-game win streak to close out 2017 (4.3).
According to Next Gen Stats, Garoppolo’s time-to-throw average is just 2.56 seconds, which qualifies as third fastest among quarterbacks this season.
That’s good. It needs to stay no further than that mark, especially considering 2.5 seconds is the magical threshold where an opponent’s pass rush has an increased chance of getting home for a sack.
The Colts aren’t exactly tallying up sacks in large numbers this year, boasting only 12 in six games and having a pressure percentage of 16.1 percent, the latter number being dead last in the league. Yet there are two factors working against Garoppolo here. First, inclement weather could mean more challenges in receivers running their routes, thus an increased time within the pocket.
On top of that, the 49ers will welcome back their former first-round draft pick, Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who already has two sacks and six quarterback hits this season.
Considering Buckner will be lining up opposite arguably the weakest portion of the Niners defense, center Alex Mack and right guard Daniel Brunskill, there’s a good chance Garoppolo will be facing some immediate pressure not long after the snap.
Getting the ball out quickly will be vital for Garoppolo to successfully execute a pass attack.