The 49ers' offense scored 30 points against a respectable Carolina Panthers defense Sunday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan watched Jimmy Garoppolo put the pieces together as the nine-year vet and play-calling wizard started to gel.
Garoppolo helped the offense reach 30 points for the first time in 2022. 30 is the number the Niners must hit with high-powered offenses remaining on the roster in the Saints, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. Let’s look at six uplifting Garoppolo plays from the Week 5 win at Bank of America Stadium.
Garoppolo and Kittle reunite
Garoppolo's third completion to George Kittle came with some heat on 3rd &7 on San Francisco’s second offensive possession. He continues to be most comfortable throwing across the middle. Garoppolo’s pocket presence is also uplifting here as delivers in traffic on a critical down. It feels rare for Kittle to get a catch nowadays. Kittle’s arguably the best offensive weapon on the team. Let’s get him the ball more, Jim.
Tevin Coleman mosses safety
When the 49ers brought Tevin Coleman back, I thought, “oh man, Shanahan brought back a guy who wants to go east and west vs. going north and south.” Coleman’s forgettable 1.9 yards per rush in 2020 left a bad taste in Niners’ fans' mouths. However, his receiving ability and familiarity with Shanahan’s scheme made it an easy decision to bring him back.
Coleman scored twice in his return and one of the best plays of the game with this 30-yard aerial catch. Garoppolo stepped outside his comfort zone targeting Coleman outside the numbers, but he delivered a great ball to give Coleman a chance.
Garoppolo avenges Aiyuk’s drop
We are all waiting on Brandon Aiyuk to break into his superstar potential. First, Garoppolo delivered a back shoulder throw under duress, with Aiyuk unable to locate the ball. Garoppolo had good ball placement on all of his sideline throws, and he needs to turn this into a strength so the offense can continue to attack all areas of the field.
Secondly, Garoppolo found Aiyuk on a high-low concept late in the third quarter. Aiyuk’s catch on third down helped keep the chains moving en route to their third touchdown of the day.
Jimmy Vick and Samuel’s touchdown reception
We have seen Garoppolo show Michael Vick-esque agility to escape the pocket and score before. It’s something Garoppolo forgets he can do versus being a monument in the pocket. Look for Garoppolo to scramble more in critical situations.
Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel have the best connection on the team. Samuel and Garoppolo failed to connect on the play before this, but Garoppolo came right back to Samuel. Samuel squeezes past Juston Burris in man coverage and dashes across the low-hole player’s face. The 49ers have several players that can score at will in the red zone. There’s no excuse for this not to be a top-five scoring offense in the NFL.
Garoppolo played well after making a few throws that would make anyone gasp. The 30-year-old quarterback knew the expectations of an NFL quarterback and was a quarter away from winning Super Bowl 54.
The 49er’s offense must pick things up with a hobbled defense. Shanahan and Garoppolo need to muster up a respectable performance to offset the Atlanta Falcon’s rushing attack. While San Francisco’s offensive line will have their hands full with Grady Jarrett and Lorenzo Carter.