Jimmy Garoppolo has seen his mix of criticism and support throughout his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers. Recently, some believed that rookie Trey Lance, not Jimmy G, should’ve been behind center for the Sunday, January 9 road game against the Los Angeles Rams.
One reason: Garoppolo was attempting to throw the football with a fractured thumb in his throwing hand. The other reason? Garoppolo threw two interceptions against the Rams.
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However, Jimmy G and the 49ers wielded their way to the come-from-behind 27-24 emotional victory against a Rams team that once led by 17. Now, there are those national personalities, especially on television and radio, who have been won over by Garoppolo and his resiliency.
Particularly one who has boldly stated that he would choose Garoppolo over a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback right now.
Colin Cowherd on Jimmy G
Before we unveil who “The Herd” snubbed for Jimmy G, here’s a hint: “You like THAT?!”
That’s right, unfortunately for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who made that three-worded reference famous following an emotional win while with Washington, he’s likely not going to like what Fox Sports 1 radio personality Colin Cowherd had to say about him on Monday, January 10 during a live televised episode of Cowherd’s show “The Herd.”
Here’s what Cowherd said about Garoppolo and why he’s more a believer in him over Cousins:
“I’ll say this about Jimmy Garoppolo: I know he drives you all nuts and none of you like him, but I’ve said it 1,000 times and I’ll say it again: He’s the opposite of Kirk Cousins,” Cowherd said. “He’s better in primetime games, he’s better with two minutes left and he’s better with no timeouts.”
For most people, it’s certainly an odd take from someone to choose a non-Pro Bowl quarterback over someone who has played in the 2016 and 2019 NFL All-Star gala. Let alone a quarterback who has had his share of hot and cold moments in Garoppolo.
But there was a couple of moments from Sunday that point to why Garoppolo was taken over Cousins.
What Garoppolo has Done
Sure, Garoppolo lost the ball three times (recovered one fumble) and had more mistakes than touchdowns in the season finale.
However, here’s what Garoppolo did accomplish at SoFi Stadium: Engineered two long drives with the game and the season on the line.
The first one was a 5-play, 88-yard drive with the 49ers down 24-17 late. Garoppolo and the 49ers went without handoffs and turned to his right arm. The 30-year-old would go on to first complete strikes of 21 yards to Brandon Aiyuk and 43 yards to Deebo Samuel. It ended with this connection to Jauan Jennings:
Cowherd raved about that drive, saying “I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t overthink it or lets it rip, but that 88 yards in five plays was so Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Then came the next yards and time eater — a 12-play, 69-yard drive in 7:15 that ultimately led to the final points of the game during overtime. The biggest play? Garoppolo to Jennings for 34 yards to get the 49ers in field goal range.
Cousins may have the better stats compared to the 49ers’ starter. After all, 32,593 passing yards and 223 touchdowns in a span of 10 seasons according to Pro Football Reference is proof. However, Cousins has a .500 record as a starter. Garoppolo, meanwhile, has an astonishing 33-14 overall record per PFR.
Garoppolo has indeed played in big games — not just the regular season ones. But the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl. Whereas, Cousins is 1-3 all-time in the postseason. And, his last playoff appearance came in a 27-10 win by Garoppolo and the 49ers in 2020.
Cowherd is fully aware of the bashing and animosity members of the 49ers faithful has had on Garoppolo. But, he delivered this reminder to his listeners and viewers.
“You’ve all hated on him for years and I always go back to it: This sport is about big moments,” Cowherd said. “That’s who got Super Bowl rings. Jimmy and big moments — and I know you all point to the Super Bowl (in Miami in 2020) — they led Patrick Mahomes for three quarters. They led the best offense on the planet for three quarters. It’s not just missing on that deep throw. Tom Brady has had pick sixes in Super Bowls. It’s not perfect. Mahomes was bad for the first three quarters of that Super Bowl. But this is what a playoff team looks like. They look like San Francisco (with Garoppolo).”