Jimmy Garoppolo is not getting much love after the San Francisco 49ers continued their run in this year’s playoffs.
Despite now heading back to SoFi Stadium for a rematch with the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco quarterback hasn’t exactly shined in the 23-17 Wild Card win over the Dallas Cowboys and the 13-10 Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers.
With two interceptions, no touchdowns, and a total of 303 passing yards over the two playoff games, his numbers are not blowing the national media away, including Stephen A. Smith and Mina Kimes on ESPN.
During First Take, the two ESPN media members sounded off on Garoppolo’s play, with Smith “reenacting” what Jimmy G has done for the past two games.
The moment sent Kimes and NFL legend Keyshawn Johnson into laughing fits, although the latter did try and tell Smith to “stop it” playfully.
To put the moment into perspective with numbers, Garoppolo has thrown 44 passes in the two games, which is considerably less than the other three starting playoff quarterbacks, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (83,) Rams QB Matt Stafford (55,) and Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow (91).
The numbers show that the Niners look to run the ball more than the average team, but does that mean Jimmy G is doing less than his part?
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Kimes on Jimmy G
While Smith’s reenactment definitely grabs one’s attention, Kimes threw down the gauntlet when saying her peace on Garoppolo. For the ESPN analyst, Jimmy G is similar to the slacker in a school group project.
“I’m not a Niners hater,” Kimes said. “I see them winning [the NFC Championship.] I see them winning because of their excellent pass rush. I see them winning because [defensive coordinator] DeMeco Ryans and [head coach] Kyle Shanahan are doing a hell of a job. [Wide receiver] Deebo Samuel is incredible, [tackle] Trent Williams is amazing. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the reason they’re winning. They’re winning with him, but not because of him… The dude just simply isn’t helping them win. At this point, I don’t know how you can argue otherwise. He is clearly the worst QB left in the postseason… [Jimmy G] is the definition of being part of the group project that gets an A, while doing none of the work.”
It’s a bold statement from Kimes, and obviously, Garoppolo has done more than “none” of the work. But in comparison to his competition, he is below the average statistically.
It’s also worth mentioning that Kimes believed that Jimmy G should’ve been picked off at least a couple of more times against the Packers. It’s hard to debate for or against that, due to the nature of football’s tight margins.
George Kittle Defends Garoppolo
Kimes and Smith’s latest opinions add to the constant conversation over Garoppolo’s performances, as the team balances a playoff run with preparing for the future with rookie QB Trey Lance.
As one might expect, Garoppolo’s teammates have not wavered in their support, including tight end George Kittle. Kittle backed Jimmy G in the presser after the 49ers beat the Packers.
“Jimmy G, you can’t say enough about that guy,” Kittle said on January 22. “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.”