Jimmy Garoppolo has gotten his San Francisco 49ers career off to a roaring start with a touchdown in his debut, and then a win in his first start. He set a franchise record for passing yards in a debut start, and it’s safe to say people are excited about the future of the quarterback position.
So much so that it naturally has a few folks ready to declare him the next great 49ers quarterback. Some fans and sports talk radio have jumped on the bandwagon quickly, and Garoppolo has some expectations to manage. At his Wednesday press conference, Garoppolo was asked about fans and sports talk radio comparing him to Joe Montana. I haven’t heard those comparisons outside of joking fashion, but I suppose it is not surprising. He did what he could to manage those expectations.
“I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that my whole career. I try not to listen to any of the outside stuff. The Joe Montana comparison, I think it’s a little early for those. It’s only been one game ... We are both Italian. So, we have that in common. But, I think it might be a little early. We’ve got a good thing going right now. We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep improving every week and keep this thing going in the right direction.”
The 49ers have four games remaining, and expectations will be relatively high for each of them. He faces a mix of bad, good, and great defenses the rest of the way, which could help tell us a decent amount. The Houston Texans’ defense is nothing like what it used to be thanks to a host of injuries, but they still rank in the top half of the league. The Tennessee Titans pass defense ranks No. 25 by Football Outsiders, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.
I don’t think it is remotely fair to make any comparisons through the next four games, but he has a nice mix of good and not so good defenses to give us some insight into what he can do. Again, we won’t know if he’s the next Joe Montana, but we’ll have a slightly better idea if it makes sense to make a sizable financial commitment.