Despite constant conversations surrounding his play and future, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is in the NFC Championship.
The 49ers are prepping for another face-off against the Los Angeles Rams, as is Garoppolo. When they last played, Garoppolo completed several important passes down the stretch to ensure a 27-24 comeback win to punch a ticket to the playoffs, but he also threw two interceptions.
As PFR shows, his up-and-down play continued to be part of the story in the Wild Card and Divisional Round wins. Garoppolo has been unimpressive from a statistical standpoint, but he seems to make enough things happen to get the Niners a win.
With the presence of rookie Trey Lance looming behind Garoppolo, former 49ers QB Alex Smith knows what he’s going through. Smith was famously succeeded by Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, and then Patrick Mahomes with the Kansas City Chiefs.
In an interview with ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, Smith commented on relating to the situation.
“Obviously, I have been in similar situations in my career and just watching from afar,” Smith said. “I have a ton of respect for the way he’s handled it, the way he’s confronted it, the way him and the organization have handled this. It’s hard, I think everybody is trying to rip them apart, and they’ve been able to defy that.”
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Smith Commends Garoppolo
One of the aspects of Garoppolo’s season that Smith lauded was how the 49ers QB has been up-front and straight-forward about his place in the team. Jimmy G hasn’t acted like Lance isn’t there, or that any playoff game could be his last.
“I love the fact that he has openly confronted this,” Smith said. “Because it’s there. And I think a lot of us would love to pretend that it’s not there. It’s hard to deal with, but that’s the reality of it.”
It’s clearly not the ideal situation to go into a season, but it hasn’t inhibited Garoppolo all too much. With 3810 passing yards in 15 games, he nearly hit his yards total from 2019 (3978) although he’s thrown 20 TDs compared to 27 in 2019.
Either way, Smith is impressed that Garoppolo never did much hiding in terms of Lance or his place on the team.
“To confront this head on is the only way to deal with it and move past it and to focus on the details. For him to dial in and for the entire team to see that in the face of all of that and he’s able to lock in and focus for his teammates, I think that’s amazing. I think they’ve certainly responded to him.”
Shanahan Praises Garoppolo’s Dropped Throw
At 11 of 19 for 131 yards and an INT, Garoppolo didn’t exactly light it up against the Packers. However, freezing temperatures and a slobberknocker of a game will create pretty unimpressive numbers. Plus, it doesn’t help when players drop passes.
The focus here isn’t to single out Jauan Jennings, but the wide receiver was named by San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan during his Wednesday media availability.
“Shanahan said Garoppolo’s throw to Jauan Jennings (dropped) was ‘one of the most talented throws I’ve ever seen.,'” The Athetlic reporter David Lombardi tweeted.
Lombardi followed up with a clip of the play in question.
Certainly a fantastic throw that just didn’t work out, but Garoppolo’s best always seems to be complemented by his worst, which was best exemplified by his interception late in the first half.
It’s simply the Jimmy G experience.