Positive No. 1: 49ers still have a very serviceable Jimmy Garoppolo
In most cases, when a team loses its starting quarterback for the season, the year is going to be lost.
And if the Niners ultimately traded or released veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo earlier this offseason, as was the speculation, the year would have been a wash. Unless rookie seventh-round pick Brock Purdy had an other-worldly kind of emergence, which is anything but likely.
Yet San Francisco didn’t part ways with Garoppolo, and that decision is going to pay massive dividends now.
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Sure, Garoppolo wasn’t overly eye-popping in relief of Trey Lance, finishing the game going 13-of-21 for 154 yards with two touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground, while also tossing a couple of not-so-great near interceptions. However, even average play from Jimmy G has been enough to help the 49ers get deep into the playoffs in two of the last three years.
In short, the Niners know they can win with Garoppolo. And in the wake of last offseason’s drama, he’s effectively playing with house money anyway, knowing his stock value only goes up in the wake of Lance’s injury.
San Francisco suffered a massive blow in losing Lance, yes. But it’s still very much a postseason top contender thanks to Jimmy G still being there.