Jimmy Garoppolo was not good in 49ers Wild Card win vs. Cowboys

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

42. 17. 123. Final. 23

The 49ers may have pulled off a Wild Card win over the Cowboys, but Jimmy Garoppolo struggled a lot during the game and nearly lost it as a result.

The San Francisco 49ers pulled off a 23-17 nail-biting win over the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round despite quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, not because of him.

True, Garoppolo was absolutely instrumental in his previous shaky game, the Week 18 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams, and he deserves a ton of credit for helping the Niners overcome what was a 17-0 deficit.

But, as the Cowboys were trying to overcome a 16-0 deficit, Garoppolo was equally not as good in the second half against Dallas.

Instead, it took both desperate efforts from San Francisco’s defense and a few fortunate breaks from the Cowboys’ own self-inflicted wounds for the 49ers to hold onto the game for the win.

Garoppolo finished the game going 16-of-25 for 172 yards, zero touchdowns against an interception and all for a passer rating of 67.4. Even according to the stat lines, Garoppolo’s efforts weren’t great.

At least he continued bucking the trend of the Niners losing games when he tosses a pick. They’re now 3-6, including regular-season and postseason play after being 1-6 entering Week 18.

Jimmy Garoppolo is shaky during second half of 49ers vs. Cowboys

San Francisco got off to a hot start to open the game, a seven-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a rushing touchdown by running back Elijah Mitchell. And, for the most part, Garoppolo was efficient enough before halftime to help the 49ers get out to a 16-0 lead despite having to rely on the leg of kicker Robbie Gould to help establish that lead.

In the second half, though, Garoppolo wasn’t good.

From halftime on, Garoppolo went 5-of-11 for 39 yards, and he also tossed this bone-headed interception directly into the waiting arms of cornerback Anthony Brown:


A poorly overthrown ball and one Dallas turned into a responding touchdown on its subsequent possession.

In addition to that, Garoppolo’s miss to a wide-open wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, would have likely spelled another scoring opportunity, likely easing the strain San Francisco ultimately had to face in the waning minutes.

Jimmy Garoppolo nearly cost 49ers the win on failed QB sneak

If you watched the game, you know the play.

The Niners were facing 4th-and-inches with 40 seconds left in regulation, Garoppolo was going to attempt a quarterback sneak that would have iced the game and presented San Francisco with the win.

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Except Garoppolo called for the snap before left tackle Trent Williams was set, drawing a false-start penalty and wiping out what could have been a successful conversion. Backed up 5 more yards, the 49ers were forced to punt, leading to that desperate comeback attempt by the Cowboys that only ran out of time when Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott failed to get the ball to the officials in time for a last-second Hail Mary pass for what could have been a go-ahead touchdown.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan later told reporters how Garoppolo got a little too eager on the play, yet admitted he “would have struggled to answer that if we’d lost.”

Fortunately, the Cowboys’ own mistakes were just a bit more frequent and crucial than any Garoppolo and the Niners made.

Regardless, Garoppolo’s tenure with San Francisco lives on at least another week, as the 49ers will now face off against quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.

Next. 10 biggest moments from historic 49ers and Cowboys rivalry. dark