49ers’ George Kittle Calls out Jimmy Garoppolo Critics After Win vs. Packers

Kittle Garoppolo Packers 49ers

GETTY George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after catching a touchdown pass.

The San Francisco 49ers won an ugly, snowy 13-10 game over the Green Bay Packers and are now heading to the NFC Championship.

Ugly doesn’t tell the full story of the NFC Divisional Round battle at Lambeau Field, as defenses and weather prevailed in the kind of “storybook” game in the snow that stick with you. The kind of game that San Francisco tight end George Kittle said that he can’t get enough of when talking to media before the game.

He looked like he wasn’t lying, leading the 49ers in receiving yards with 63 on four catches, with pretty much every catch being an important or big play for the Niners. When Kittle got the chance to speak to the media again after San Francisco’s win, his attention turned towards those who have criticized his quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

“Jimmy G, you can’t say enough about that guy,” Kittle told reporters during his January 22 postgame press conference. “The s*** that he takes, excuse my language, consistently, people just try to pull him down, and all he does is try to deliver. He leads this team, he has a sense of calm in the huddle, he has a sense of calm in the storm, and he allows us to play football at a high level.”

Kittle’s comments continue a running theme: this offense likes Jimmy G as their quarterback, despite much of the outside opinion differing.

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Shanahan on Garoppolo

There’s no question that Garoppolo gets his fair share of criticism, and it’s easy to see why. In the past three games, all win-or-go-home scenarios, Jimmy G’s stats are hard to look at.

Per PFR, he has completed 50 of 76 passes for 619 yards, one touchdown and thrown four interceptions in the process. Not ideal numbers no matter the situation, but especially not in must-win games.

However, the 49ers just win with Garoppolo. Between 2019 and this year, the quarterback has a 4-1 record in the playoffs despite never being the focal point of the offense. The Niners and head coach Kyle Shanahan have bought into Jimmy G during his time in San Francisco, even though Shanahan is very aware of his shortcomings.

“I thought Jimmy battled,” Shanahan said after the NFC Divisional win. “I know he had that bad pick, which was unfortunate. That wasn’t a good play. But some of the plays Jimmy made in the first half—I mean, the throw to Kittle was going to be a touchdown, and Kittle missed that. One play later, when they blitzed us, for him to get it off to Jauan [Jennings], and give a chance, I thought Jimmy made some really good plays in this game.”

Garoppolo Reveals ‘Calmness’ During Game

When talking about the game afterward, Garoppolo revealed that he never lost faith despite the offensive woes and trailing a talented team like the Packers. When you have a defense performing like the Niners did on Saturday night, it gave the offense a chance to breathe and stay composed.

“There was a calmness, honestly,” Garoppolo said. “It was probably midway through the first or second [quarter] that I realized it was going to be that type of game. They got off to a good start with that first drive, but our defense was playing great. There’s just a feel to the game. Even when they had the lead, I felt like we were in control of the game, as crazy as that sounds.”

Whether the 49ers actually had control or not can be debated, but the only thing Garoppolo, San Francisco and the 49ers faithful care about is that the Niners won and are now heading to the NFC Championship.

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