5 reasons why 49ers ultimately lost NFC championship to Rams

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Jimmy Garoppolo simply wasn’t clutch enough

The NFC Championship game should be another case example why quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is good enough a quarterback to help a team like the Niners get to the postseason.

But not good enough to get over the proverbial “hump,” especially when San Francisco’s other elements (such as the defense and run game) aren’t working well enough.

Two seasons ago, the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV was another case example. Simply put, Garoppolo came up short in both games when the game was on the line. And while fans will point out to his last-ditch interception, which will likely go down as his final play in a 49ers uniform, there were plenty of other missed opportunities and near-disaster plays, too.

Garoppolo overthrew a wide-open tight end George Kittle on the Niners’ opening drive, nearly got Deebo Samuel seriously injured and was almost intercepted again earlier in the fourth quarter by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Jimmy G went 16-of-30 for 232 yards, two passing touchdowns against that interception, all for a passer rating of 87.1.

Good enough if San Francisco was getting production from its run game and defense. But when looking at his 3-of-9 mark for 30 yards, the pick and 4.2 passer rating in the fourth quarter, it’s hard to argue he was clutch when he needed to be.

And the 49ers needed him to be in that situation. They’re going home because he wasn’t.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 most painful playoff losses in franchise history. dark