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Four over/unders for Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2020 season

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Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

On Thursday, we went over four over/unders for four of the San Francisco 49ers wide receivers. Today, it’s Jimmy Garoppolo’s turn. Garoppolo finished 2019 with 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and had a 69% completion percentage. Before we get into some of Jimmy’s projections, I think it’s important to make a distinction that the 49ers wide receivers corps are going to be worlds better heading into the season than they were last year.

Heading into the season, the 49ers had high hopes for Dante Pettis, but he came into came out of shape and injuries set him back. Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd never stepped foot on the field during the season while Deebo Samuel was a rookie. That left Kendrick Bourne and George Kittle as the two targets for Garoppolo. Jimmy not only enters the season with these weapons plus Brandon Aiyuk, he’s also had a chance to throw to them during workouts. There won’t be any “mental hurdles” for Garoppolo having to overcome or play timid with a knee brace. Those reasons plus another year under Kyle Shanahan is why many have picked the 49ers to return to the Super Bowl.

Let’s start with how many yards we think Jimmy G will throw. Will Shanahan take off the training wheels and let his quarterback throw it around now that there are reliable receivers? In 2019, 11 quarterbacks threw for over 4,000 yards. Let’s set Garoppolo’s over/under at 4,100, which would have put him seventh last year.

Poll

Will Jimmy throw for more than 4,100 yards?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Yes
    (1214 votes)
  • 18%
    No
    (278 votes)
1492 votes total Vote Now

I vote yes because I don’t believe the 49ers will have as many blowouts this year, which will lead to more throws in the second half and the fourth quarter. Honestly, a few more deep targets could easily put Garoppolo over this figure, assuming there is a game or two where he throws for over 350 yards.

Garoppolo was sixth in the NFL in passing touchdowns a season ago. I’m unsure if he’ll surpass 27 this year, which is in no way an indicator that Garoppolo took a step back as a player. Play-callers can give their quarterbacks “gimme touchdowns” near the goal line to inflate their stats. Sean Payton/Sean McVay are the kings of this. Let’s bump the number up to 29. Do you feel like Jimmy can reach 30 touchdown passes this year?

Poll

O/U 29.5 touchdown passes for Jimmy

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Over
    (986 votes)
  • 30%
    Under
    (435 votes)
1421 votes total Vote Now

We’ll skip interceptions as I don’t believe they are a great indicator of a quarterback’s performance. A ball goes off the hands of the receiver, and the interception goes to the quarterback. A defender drops the ball that hits him in between the numbers, and that play gets ignored.

Completion percentage is an even worse statistic. If you’re throwing short of the first down marker, you’re going to have a high completion percentage. PFF did a study that showed Garoppolo was one of the most conservative quarterbacks on third down. Jimmy G was the sixth-worst quarterback in 2019 under Football Outsiders’ ALEX. It was the average difference between the length of the quarterback’s throw and the distance needed for a new set of downs. When I ask is Kyle going to take the kid gloves off, this is what I’m referring to.

Adjusted yards per attempt, quarterback rating, and a handful of other stats paint a clearer picture for quarterback performance. Garoppolo was ninth in the NFL in adjusted yards per attempt last year at 8.3. I’m not too fond of the Matt Ryan comparisons as he was going into his ninth season in the NFL in 2016, where Ryan’s stats took off. Ryan’s AY/A climbed from 7.0 to 10.1 from 2015 to 2016, which is insane. Only one quarterback was over 10.1 last year. Garoppolo shouldn’t be chasing Ryan’s numbers. He should only be looking to improve on his. So if we use 8.3 and think Garoppolo will improve, let’s bump his number up to 8.7, which would have put him in the top-five of AY/A last year.

Poll

Will Jimmy G average more than 8.7 AY/A in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Yes
    (918 votes)
  • 25%
    No
    (315 votes)
1233 votes total Vote Now

That’s a tough one.

Quarterback rating will be the final metric we reference.QBR measures passes, rushes, turnovers, and penalties. It accounts for a team’s level of success or failure in every play. Garoppolo finished 12th in 2019 at 58.8. To crack the top-five, Jimmy G would likely have to reach a 70.0 or higher. That’s a big ask and not fair to any player. Instead of improving by 12%, how about we ask for a six percent increase? Let’s say Jimmy has a QBR of 64.0. That’d be good enough to crack the top-10 and show he improved as a player in 2020.

Poll

Will Garoppolo’s QBR be above 64 in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Yes
    (1144 votes)
  • 6%
    No
    (83 votes)
1227 votes total Vote Now