The platitudes for Jimmy Garoppolo will continue on for a third straight week following the San Francisco 49ers 25-23 win over the Tennessee Titans. Robbie Gould converted a career high six field goals to secure the win, but that final field goal was set up by an impressive drive by Garoppolo and the 49ers offense.
Ryan Succup connected on a 50-yard field goal to give the Titans a 23-22 lead with 1:07 to go. The 49ers opened the final drive at their own 25, and they moved 45 yards in a matter of seconds. Garoppolo connected on a seven-yard pass to Trent Taylor, a 24-yard pass to George Kittle, and a 14-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin. Carlos Hyde ran three yards to set up the field goal, and Gould easily converted the game-winner.
The 49ers lost nine straight games to start the season, and five of them between Week 2 and Week 6 were each by a field goal or less. The 49ers could not figure out how to close the door, and it showed as they kept coming up short. For the second time in three weeks, the 49ers have turned a last minute two-point deficit into a one-point victory.
We saw it this week against the Titans, and we saw it two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears in Garoppolo’s debut. The 49ers trailed 14-12, and Garoppolo drove them 86 yards over 5:23 to put Gould in position to kick the game-winning field goal.
These are just two games, but they have shown a quarterback and a team that are growing into their skin and learning how to win. And not just win, but win games that go down to the wire. We’ll never know what’s going on in Garoppolo’s head, but it seems like he is perpetually cool as a cucumber. He has two fourth-quarter comebacks in three starts for the 49ers, and each start he has looked more impressive than the last. Imagine what he’ll look like with a full offseason to learn more of the intricacies of the scheme, and adding some fire power to the offensive line and skill positions?
The 49ers only have two games left, but through three starts, it is entirely clear what they are getting out of Jimmy Garoppolo. There will be lows to go with these highs, but there is no doubt that Garoppolo is the kind of cool, calm leader who can be a cornerstone for this franchise for years to come.