clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sunday’s version of Jimmy Garoppolo makes the 49ers a title contender

Jimmy Garoppolo’s level of play on Sunday makes the 49ers a Super Bowl contender in the NFC.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As Jimmy Garoppolo found George Kittle in the back of the end zone to put on the finishing touches of a masterpiece on Sunday, it left me with one thought: the 49ers can be in the elite tier of NFL teams if Garoppolo consistently plays this way.

The 49ers’ quarterback bounced back from last week’s loss to drop a stat line of:

23-of-25 (84%), 235 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs

Not only was Garoppolo avoiding turnovers and disastrous mistakes but also pushing the ball down the field, finding his safety net for check-downs, and extending and creating second-reaction plays.

San Francisco couldn’t leave Los Angeles with a 3-5 record while losing the divisional tiebreaker to the Rams. It was as close to a must-win game gets in October, but Jimmy Garoppolo was able to lead his team to victory.

Christian McCaffrey’s going to garner all the shine for his historical performance in all three phases of the game. Still, I thought Garoppolo’s composure in muddy pockets and ability to hit explosive passing plays was the difference.

Garoppolo’s passer rating of 132.5 was the third-best among all quarterbacks who played on Sunday, behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa. The 49ers’ signal caller also finished with the third-best EPA per play on Sunday, behind Tagovailoa and Dak Prescott.

No. 10 was accurate, efficient, and turnover-free, and that allowed the 49ers to put together one of their better offensive performances (especially in the second half).

If — and it’s a huge if — Garoppolo plays the way he played on Sunday in the playoffs, the 49ers are one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

With DeMeco Ryans’ defense looking more like themselves in the second half on Sunday, it’ll be more and more important for the offense to play complementary football — control the clock and be efficient and turnover-free.

Sunday’s recipe was exactly that on offense — an offense that didn’t have its starting full-back and top-two wide receivers. Nevertheless, George Kittle mentioned after the game that the “49ers figured something out on offense,” and that sure bodes well for the success of this overall team.

It’s a big unknown if the 49ers can get this version of Garoppolo week-in and week-out, but if they do — watch out.