Jimmy Garoppolo has one shocking stat that’s good for 49ers

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are back to riding the Jimmy Garoppolo experience. And despite his limitations, there’s one particular stat that stands out in a positive way.

It’s probably a very generic statement, but the notion of “you know what you’re going to get” with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a lot of truth to it.

Garoppolo, back in the fray after fellow signal-caller Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, brings head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense back to earth from the “what if?” possibilities it had previously with Lance under center.

In some regards, that’s OK. Shanahan has already experienced plenty of success with Garoppolo under center, even if those Niners teams needed both a strong running game and stout defense to advance to the NFC Championship game in two of the last three years.

Garoppolo might not be able to carry an offense on his shoulders, and San Francisco’s offensively challenged Week 3 loss to the Denver Broncos was all the proof needed of why he’s not able to elevate the offense in full.

And why the 49ers transitioned to Lance in the first place?

However, in light of the two-plus games he’s played so far this young season, Garoppolo is actually showing improvement in one particular stat where he’s historically struggled.

Jimmy Garoppolo is protecting the ball better, avoiding interceptions

You’ve heard this before: Garoppolo is an interception waiting to happen at any given moment.

One should easily be able to recall the multitude of times where Jimmy G makes that bone-headed throw across the middle, either not seeing a baiting safety or linebacker, or trying to force an ill-advised pass like the one he attempted late in the fourth quarter against Denver.

Related Story: Jimmy Garoppolo play isn’t only brutal part of 49ers loss to Broncos

Interestingly enough, though, that’s the lone interception Garoppolo has tossed this season on 77 pass attempts. As a result, his 2022 interception percentage is all the way down to 1.3, which would be a career-low if it continues and is notably better than the 2.7 mark he had in 2021.

And it’s not just the “he got lucky” non-interceptions either. According to Pro Football Focus, Garoppolo’s turnover-worthy play percentage this season is just 2.2, whereas it was 5.1 a year ago.

The Niners don’t typically want Garoppolo dropping back to throw more than 25 times a game, and his ideal range is often between 15 to 20 passes. That way, he does cut down on his previously problematic high-turnover risk.

Yet the bigger takeaway is, if Garoppolo can continue the early trend of protecting the ball better, San Francisco should be in good shape.

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