Jimmy Garoppolo: Can 49ers QB still be the guy for rest of the season?
Jimmy Garoppolo played well against the Bears, but there’s understandably some skepticism over the 49ers quarterback moving forward.
Somewhat embarrassingly for this writer after advocating for a permanent change at quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo looked the best he did all season against the Chicago Bears in a 33-22 victory that’s kept the San Francisco 49ers‘ season afloat.
Garoppolo went 17-of-28 for 322 yards and two rushing touchdowns that were designed runs (well, at least the first was designed in his head last second) and not the quarterback sneaks you would expect from a usual Garoppolo rushing score.
Garoppolo will get much love from the media for the performance, but the problem is it doesn’t answer questions about how he plays.
In short, can he be the guy for the 49ers? Even with rookie quarterback Trey Lance looking over his shoulder?
A week ago, most people were ready to pull the trigger on removing Garoppolo for good. The Bears are not a horrible team but they’re not Super Bowl contenders either, it’s hard to gauge too much from this performance.
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Garoppolo does have another chance to prove he can lead the 49ers to the playoffs, however, with the return game against the Arizona Cardinals now next on the agenda.
The Cardinals are the most improved team if not the most improved team in the NFL, a loss to the Green Bay Packers is the only mark on their resume so far, and that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed about.
San Francisco does have some reinforcements potentially on the way, though, with tight end George Kittle looking to return to the field against Arizona. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has had a breakout season, and a healthy Kittle would give the 49ers a dynamic on offense they’ve struggled to capture this year.
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But it comes down to Garoppolo and whether or not he can play at a high enough level to get the 49ers back to the playoffs.
The answer seems to differ from week to week.
But he has a solid offensive line, a dynamic new running back in Elijah Mitchell, one of the top receivers in the league in Samuel, and Kittle coming back. Jimmy G has to drive the Niners forward now.
If San Francisco can get to a 4-4 record this time next week, with the scalp of Arizona under its belt, then we live in an entirely different world than two weeks ago when the team lost four in a row.
It comes down to Garoppolo and whether or not he can steer the team back in the right direction against the elite.