He might have been shaky early, but 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a touchdown-scoring drive to close out the first half against the Vikings.
Garoppolo had played clean the last two weeks, but the Niners’ efforts to increase their standings in the NFC playoff picture took a hit early when Garoppolo attempted an ill-fated pass to wide receiver Deebo Samuel that Vikings safety Harrison Smith intercepted.
Generally speaking, tossing into double coverage over the middle isn’t advisable:
Minnesota converted that turnover into seven points, putting Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense into an early hole.
And that wouldn’t be the only issues the 49ers’ embattled quarterback dealt with.
Garoppolo was nearly picked off again on a 3rd-and-long play when he attempted to hit tight end George Kittle outside the numbers. Luckily, if one wants to call it that, the pass fell incomplete and wasn’t returned for a would-be pick-six Vikings touchdown.
On another play, Garoppolo had a wide-open running back, Elijah Mitchell, open but overthrew him.
Jimmy Garoppolo closes out first half with 49ers touchdown
The Niners didn’t hesitate to move away from the run game, which opened up the door for a game-tying touchdown just before halftime.
With no timeouts remaining, Garoppolo managed to clock the ball after completing a 24-yard pass to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to get the offense into the red zone, inducing an neutral-zone infraction penalty against Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to help matters a bit more.
Then, Garoppolo fit a nice pass in a tight window to wide receiver Jauan Jennings to tie things up before the half:
Garoppolo’s first-half numbers still weren’t overly great, though. He went 9-of-16 for 112 yards, the touchdown against the interception, all for a passer rating of 72.9.
San Francisco has been 5-0 this season when Garoppolo didn’t toss an interception, 0-4 when he has.
Hopefully, with the score tied at 14-14 heading into the third quarter, Garoppolo and Co. will buck that narrative.