clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Golden Nuggets: The 49ers couldn’t overcome “Bad Jimmy” against the Titans

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, December 24, 2021

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Man. That was a tough loss. Now, we have ten days to overreact to everything we saw last night. The 49ers are still a playoff team. The frustrating part is that they should be so much better than what they’ve shown this season.

Bad night for Jimmy Garoppolo a bad sign for San Francisco 49ers’ potential playoff run - San Francisco 49ers Blog- ESPN

Of greater concern should be what happens if Garoppolo turns in more performances like he did Thursday night. Whenever he was asked to throw the ball five or more yards downfield, it felt like something bad was about to happen. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Garoppolo completed 20 of 22 passes for 186 on throws traveling less than 5 yards in the air. He completed 6 of 13 passes for 136 yards with two interceptions on throws traveling 5-plus yards in the air.

And, as the game wore on, Tennessee dared Garoppolo to beat them. To his credit, he led a drive for the game-tying touchdown. The Titans had enough time to get the game-winning field goal.

But it shouldn’t have come to that. More opponents will try to force Garoppolo to carry the Niners offense. And if the bad version of Garoppolo continues to appear, the Niners are going to be watching from home sooner than later, even if they reach the postseason.

NFL quarterback offseason dominoes 2022: What if Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson get traded? What if they stay? Three scenarios

“We know that he has more upside than it might seem — the 49ers did make it to a Super Bowl with him, after all — and he wouldn’t preclude them from going after a quarterback in the 2023 draft,” wrote Barnwell. “This would be a third-round pick in 2023 that could rise as high as the first round if Garoppolo plays 16 games and Carolina makes the playoffs.”

2021 NFL season, Week 16: What we learned from Titans’ win over 49ers on Thursday nightHaving looked overmatched through the first 30 minutes, the Titans, led by Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown, came roaring back in the second...

  1. Welcome back, A.J. Brown. The Titans have desperately needed injured playmakers to return, and Brown came off injured reserve just in time to torch the 49ers on Thursday and lead a second-half charge. It took some time to get him rolling; at the half, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill had all of 40 passing yards and Brown had pulled in just 24 of them. After the break, it was a completely different story. He beat Ambry Thomas for a 42-yard deep ball in the second half, and a few plays later, pulled in a touchdown pass from Tannehill that gave the Titans their first lead of the game. By game’s end, he’d recorded career highs of 16 targets and 11 catches (145 yards) and pretty much was the Titans’ entire offense in an inspiring comeback victory.

How 49ers’ Week 16 loss vs. Titans impacts NFC playoff picture

“At 8-7, the 49ers then would only be a half-game up on three teams, the Vikings, the Eagles, the Saints, you get very close to that cut line right there at the seventh spot,” Kornacki said.

As Kornacki noted, the 49ers do have the head-to-head tiebreaker over both the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles after beating both teams earlier this season. The 49ers and Saints did not play against each other in 2021.

49ers can’t overcome Jimmy Garoppolo’s mistakes, as Titans steal a win

Garoppolo hasn’t been bad this season. He has been an asset most games for a team that should go to the postseason. But he was bad for most of Thursday night with everyone watching.

When the 49ers traded a lot to move up and draft Trey Lance third overall, it was an indictment of Garoppolo. Garoppolo has held off Lance for the starting job. But when the 49ers traded multiple picks to go get Lance, it was an admission that they could only go so far with Garoppolo. No matter what the 49ers say publicly, a team that feels good about its quarterback isn’t giving up multiple firsts to draft another QB.