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The 49ers defining moment could be a long-lasting one

SI ranked out defining moments of 2017. I have a hunch the 49ers will move up if they’re re-ranked in a couple years.

The San Francisco 49ers decision to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo via trade has turned into arguably the best roster move this year. There will be plenty of debate about various roster additions around the NFL, but the Garoppolo trade has the potential to set the 49ers up for the next decade.

Sports Illustrated released their list of the 100 defining moments of the 2017 NFL season, and the 49ers five-game winning streak behind Jimmy Garoppolo ranked No. 14. Donald Trump referring to a kneeling player as a “son of a bitch” ranked No. 1. Here are the top 14.

1. Donald Trump SOB comments.
2. Minnesota Miracle (Stefon Diggs TD).
3. Philadelphia buying dog masks during Eagles NFC playoff run.
4. Tom Brady leads Patriots comeback win over Jaguars.
5. Browns finish 0-16.
6. Jerry Richardson sexual harassment scandal results in his departure as Panthers owner.
7. Tom Brady cuts his hand in practice before the AFC Championship Game.
8. Ryan Shazier collapses to the ground without feeling in his legs.
9. J.J. Watt named SI’s Sportsman of the Year.
10. Cam Newton makes sexist comment about it being funny hearing a woman talking about running routes.
11. Bills fans donate nearly $400,000 to Andy Dalton’s charity after Bengals beat Ravens to help Buffalo get into playoffs.
12. Jesse James scores a game-winning touchdown against the Patriots, only to have it overturned.
13. Jaguars score 45 points in playoff upset of Steelers.
14. 49ers win five straight behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

These moments are all notable, but most of them are fairly short term in nature. Ryan Shazier’s scary injury has quickly been brushed over by the NFL, and I would not be surprised is forgotten after this year. That’s just how it works with a lot of scary injuries.

There is no guarantee Garoppolo will turn into a franchise quarterback. Most of us are optimistic, but he’s got a small enough sample size that there is some waiting to be done. Nonetheless, if he turns into the kind of quarterback we think he can be, it’s hard not to see the Garoppolo trade and those final five games being the absolutely defining moment of the 2017 season.

Franchise quarterbacks are fairly rare, and given what we’ve seen so far, a future with Jimmy G looks pretty bright. I’m not saying we’re looking at the next Patriots-like dynasty, but getting a franchise quarterback is a big step in the right direction. And if things continue in the direction they headed to close out the season, well, big changes could be afoot in the NFL!