Jimmy Garoppolo game grade from 49ers win vs. Falcons

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Final. 13. 44. 31. 42

The 49ers got a high-quality game from Jimmy Garoppolo during their 31-13 home win over the Falcons, and Niner Noise grades his overall efforts.

The San Francisco 49ers ideally don’t want quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo slinging the ball all over the field on any given game.

Sometimes, it’s a necessity. Case in point, the Niners needed Garoppolo to pass 41 times during the overtime win versus the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14, although their target range for Jimmy G in other games, especially when the run game is working, is usually hovering between 20 and 25 pass attempts.

Such was the case with Garoppolo’s solid outing in Week 15 at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

San Francisco won that game in decisive fashion, 31-13, riding a stout pass-rushing defense and a strong run game from reserve running back Jeff Wilson Jr., who churned out 110 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

These are the ideal conditions for Garoppolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have a Falcons pass rush to worry about

Few quarterbacks like being pressured. Garoppolo is no exception.

Fortunately for him, the Falcons didn’t exactly showcase a strong pass rush in Week 15, failing to sack him once and only laying three quarterback hits on him in the process.

The only time Garoppolo had to react quickly under pressure and while experiencing duress resulted in a dump-off pass that went to running back JaMycal Hasty for a modest gain before taking a would-have-been sack.

Good play from Jimmy G.

As a result and without the pressure, Garoppolo was able to complete 78.3 percent of his passes (18-of-23), and two of those incompletions were the results of flat-out drops. And while the 49ers relied heavily on rushing touchdowns, Garoppolo at least hit wide receiver Jauan Jennings for his lone passing touchdown, finishing the day with 235 yards through the air and a 123.7 passer rating.

Best throws from 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

One of the more refreshing elements from Garoppolo in this game was his willingness to actually test Atlanta’s defense down the field.

Not a lot, and there were missed opportunities, yes. But there were also quality attempts, too.

Such as this one, which saw Garoppolo hit tight end George Kittle on a 1st-and-10 play from the Falcons’ 45-yard line, resulting in a between-the-numbers completion for 28 yards. Garoppolo entered the game with an intended-air-yards metric of just 7.5, 13th in the league, according to Next Gen Stats, so this kind of attempt of more than 20 yards is certainly a rarity.

But what was more refreshing was to see Garoppolo hit Jennings in stride on that lone touchdown, leading his receiver outside the numbers where the intended target didn’t have to break off his route to bail out his quarterback:

Those, too, aren’t plays Garoppolo always makes. It was good to see that be the case this time.

Read More: Fred Warner on Jimmy Garoppolo: ‘He’s our guy’

Most importantly, though, the Niners will attest the importance of Garoppolo protecting the ball and not turning it over, making Sunday’s win over Atlanta the seventh game of the year in which San Francisco won when Jimmy G doesn’t throw an interception.

That makes 7-0 in non-interception games from Garoppolo, compared to 1-5 when he does.

As such, it’s hard to give Garoppolo anything else but a quality A-grade for his efforts, helping propel the 49ers to their 8-6 record this deep in the season.

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