Jimmy Garoppolo had to play at some point this season, terrible San Francisco 49ers offensive line or not. If he’s going to be the franchise quarterback, he’s going to have to get used to taking a beating, because I’m not optimistic the line is going to get any better next year. It was certainly bad against the Chicago Bears.
Garoppolo was only sacked twice — I say “only” because the 49ers have performed much worse, while two sacks is still a disappointment. But he was also hit several times ... so much so that I thought a few qualified as late hits, but whatever. We’re here to take a look at the two sacks.
It feels like both sacks were heavy on miscommunication or blown assignments, as it happens. Laken Tomlinson is still getting easily beaten, mind you, but neither sack was actually on him (!!!) this week.
We’re going to get right into it below, but first: I did want to put out another call for feedback on the gifs themselves. Haven’t heard anything since I changed up how I did them awhile back, and I’m assuming the lack of complaints means they’re running fine? From a technical standpoint, that is.
7:35 in 2nd Quarter, 1st and 10 from SF 24: Garoppolo sacked at SF 13 for -11 yards (Lamarr Houston)
I’m not sure who Garrett Celek was supposed to block on this play, but if it’s Lamarr Houston, he didn’t do a very good job. He came through untouched and Garoppolo seems to hesitate, which dooms him for the sack. It seems like odd play design to go so deep on the left side even for a play action pass, Brandon Fusco basically doesn’t exist because of it. I’m not sure if that’s what was supposed to happen, but there are better ways to sell a play action.
As you can see, the Coaches Film from Soldier Field is kind of terrible, but it’s all we have. At the time Garoppolo comes out of the fake and sets his feet, he has only the one underneath option at the top of the screen to throw to. Given the impending sack, he should have thrown the football. He doesn’t, and gets creamed.
14:27 in 4th Quarter, 2nd and 5 from CHI 47: Garoppolo sacked at SF 49 for -4 yards (Christian Jones)
This is just a missed read on Brandon Fusco, and not much else. It’s possible the call at the line was wrong, as this play came from no huddle, but there is no reason for Fusco to try and assist Daniel Kilgore on the play. He has a clear man he needs to block, and doesn’t. Laken Tomlinson also got pushed back and pretty good on the play, and likely would have given up the sack if it went on much longer.
All of the routes are short routes and all of them are open to an extent. With Garoppolo’s quick release, he maybe could have let that ball loose before his shallow dropback was complete, but I find no reason to fault him for this play when he was instantly under pressure.