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Golden Nuggets: How can Jimmy Garoppolo improve in 2020?

The Athletic’s David Lombardi did a deep dive on Jimmy G’s struggles in 2019.

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Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

We all know how important the quarterback position is in in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers feel they have their long-term solution with Jimmy Garoppolo still under contract for three more seasons.

Garoppolo just played his first full year as a starter, leading the team to a 13-3 record, and a Super Bowl appearance. He’s 21-5 in his career, but still has his fair share of doubters.

The Athletic’s David Lombardi did a great in-depth piece on Jimmy G’s underlying numbers from last season, and looked at how the quarterback can be better in 2020. With most of Garoppolo’s throws coming between the numbers, Lombardi broke down why he struggled in certain games last season, including his shaky Super Bowl performance:

“Statistically, these were Garoppolo’s worst games:

vs. Seattle (4.9 / -11.8%)

vs. Rams (6.6 / -6.5%)

vs. Atlanta (6.5 / -6.0%)

at Tampa Bay (5.2 / -5.4%)

vs. Kansas City (4.8 / -5.3%)

vs. Minnesota (5.6 / -4.3%)

The 49ers’ interior offensive line weakened just as the team faced a string of elite defensive tackles. It’s probably no coincidence that Garoppolo scored poorly against the Falcons (featuring Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett), the Rams (featuring Donald), the Vikings and the Chiefs (featuring Jones). Donald, Jarrett and Jones ranked as the NFL’s top three pass-rushing tackles, and the Vikings’ defensive line was also formidable.

Of course, Garoppolo also made mistakes from a clean pocket, particularly with some throws into coverage during the playoff win against Minnesota. While Shanahan is presumably counting on him to clean those up, Garoppolo’s biggest dip in inefficiency certainly seems tied to increased pressure from the interior.”

Lombardi adds that the 49ers need to have better pass protection on the interior in order for Garoppolo to be more consistent next season. The Niners let guard Mike Person go, and brought in Tom Compton as a free agent. With Daniel Brunskill, and Justin Skule in the mix, head coach Kyle Shanahan will have to find the right combination on the offensive line that will allow Garoppolo to be at his best.

I think Garoppolo will take a big step next season. The fact he is getting to spend this offseason focusing on football instead of rehabbing is a big reason why. But, he will only be as good as the offensive line allows him to be. With Trent Williams replacing the retired Joe Staley, and Person off the roster, the unit will look different in front of Jimmy G.

Do you think the O-line will be better in 2020 than it was last season?

On to some links:

Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott officially signed his franchise tag that will make him the highest paid player in the NFL next season. NBC Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson compares Prescott’s numbers to Jimmy G’s.

The Niners will have to make some tough decisions at the cornerback position after the 2020 season. Gilbert Bring of 49ers Web Zone looks into if the team could potentially move Richard Sherman to safety.

Which NFC West players on rookie contracts are most critical to their team’s success? CBS Sports’ Sean Wagner-McGough says for the 49ers, it is defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

Signing tight end George Kittle to a long-term deal is imperative for general manager John Lynch. NBC Bay Area’s Johnson says compares Kittle’s importance a former New England Patriot.

The pandemic has brought a lot of bad news from around the world. So, in a positive story, 49ers Web Zone’s David Bonilla shares the fact that defensive lineman Arik Armstead got married!

The Niners had some tough luck on the injury front with receivers Deebo Samuel, and Richie James both getting hurt during workouts. Fansided’s Justin Fried asks if another receiver will be an x-factor for the 49ers in 2020.

Speaking of receivers, one player who has had a frustrating start to his NFL career is Dante Pettis. NBC Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco says with the injuries, Pettis will have the opportunity to show he was worth the second-round pick.