4 observations from Jimmy Garoppolo in 49ers win vs. Bengals

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

23. 56. Final/OT. 26. 42

The 49ers needed Jimmy Garoppolo to do more than just be a game manager against the Bengals, leading to some key takeaways from the Week 14 win.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t necessarily need to be perfect for the San Francisco 49ers if they wanted to pull off a much-needed road win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.

But he surely had to be better than what he was in Week 13 in another road loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Fortunately, Garoppolo was good enough.

The Niners managed to survive a fourth-quarter Cincy surge that saw their 20-6 lead evaporate in a game that required overtime. And once that hit, Cincinnati took a 23-20 lead on an extra-frame field goal, pushing Garoppolo and the offense back into the fray after being limited to just three points in the third and fourth quarters.

Garoppolo surely answered on that drive, finding wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a game-winning 11-yard touchdown to give San Francisco the hard-fought and desperate 26-23 overtime victory.

In total, Jimmy G went 27-of-41 for 296 yards, two touchdowns against zero interceptions with a 103.3 passer rating, which leads to some notable takeaways from Jimmy G’s performance, so let’s break those down with the hope the positive trends can continue.

No. 4: Jimmy Garoppolo can still be clutch… every now and then

In 2019, when the 49ers were making the run all the way up to the Super Bowl, Garoppolo was tied for the NFL lead with four fourth-quarter comebacks and also had four game-winning drives during the regular season.

While he technically won’t get a fourth-quarter comeback from what happened in Week 14, he does get another game-winning drive to bring his 2021 total to two and counting.

Garoppolo and the offensive were largely stagnant after halftime, and Cincinnati had almost all the momentum, offensively and defensively. Yet, following the Bengals’ go-ahead field goal in the extra frame, Jimmy G responded by going a perfect 6-of-6 for 77 yards with the touchdown pass to Aiyuk.

It’s certainly not enough to save his long-term career with the Niners, but at least it helps with the overall NFC playoff picture, and it potentially aids whatever offseason trade value he has.