Jimmy Garoppolo quietly had solid game in 49ers win vs. Rams

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball as Bobby Wagner #45 of the Los Angeles Rams defends (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball as Bobby Wagner #45 of the Los Angeles Rams defends (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

42. 14. 51. Final. 31

While Christian McCaffrey got the bulk of credit for the 49ers’ win over the Rams, Jimmy Garoppolo managed to put together a solid outing himself, too.

If fans and analysts had to pick one reason and one reason only for why the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8, the unanimous answer would be the newly acquired running back, Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey was awesome, rushing for a touchdown, receiving another and even tossing a touchdown, becoming the first player in the NFL to do so since 2005, and all three scores ensured the Niners emerged with the 31-14 victory over their NFC West rivals to improve to 4-4 on the season.

Hidden behind all the McCaffrey hoopla, though, is the fact that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo actually ended up having himself a nice game, too.

Yes, Garoppolo had a couple of near disasters, twice where he was almost intercepted by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. However, and especially in light of some lackluster performances over the last two weeks of San Francisco losses, Garoppolo more than made up for the gaffes.

Jimmy Garoppolo actually takes some deep shots vs. Rams

After a slowish start over the first two quarters, Garoppolo seemed to play with a little more aggression in the second half. And there were a few dagger plays where he looked to do the opposite of what many analysts and fans say his tendency is: keeping his throws short.

On one particular play from the 49ers’ own 30-yard line, Garoppolo hit backup tight end Ross Dwelley for a deep 56-yard gain. And while some may criticize Garoppolo for not leading Dwelley, the tight end didn’t exactly have separation speed either.

There was also a deep shot earlier in the game intended for wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud. And while that ball was underthrown, McCloud didn’t do Jimmy G many favors by trying to basket-catch it.

It was good, however, to see Garoppolo throw both of his touchdown passes outside the numbers, which is another area in which he’s not known for thriving. And the below Next Gen Stats chart points this out:

Garoppolo finished going 21-of-25 for 235 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 132.5.

And while the Rams pass rush put some pressure on him, registering three sacks and four quarterback hits, Garoppolo nevertheless avoided the kind of mistakes that all but doomed the Niners’ offensive efforts the previous two weeks.

More importantly, Garoppolo went 11-of-13 for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, which is the half San Francisco’s offense has struggled in this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo chemistry with Christian McCaffrey should be fun

There are a number of plays where Garoppolo showcased some notable chemistry with McCaffrey, but particularly one has to stand out.

You know, McCaffrey’s receiving touchdown:

Watching things more closely, Garoppolo’s options in the red zone run out. McCaffrey, who leaked out into the flat, realized it at the same time Jimmy G did, and all the quarterback had to do was hit him on the impromptu wheel route for the touchdown.

It worked.

“[McCaffrey] wasn’t really in the read,” Garoppolo admitted to reporters after the game. “He turns it upfield, and that’s just being a football player.”

Good thing that chemistry worked out well, and Garoppolo should be happy with the end result, too.

And with the Niners enjoying a bye in Week 9, perhaps the added week of rest and practice will increase the relationship between these two players, further assisting Garoppolo’s prowess heading into the second half of the season.

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