Even though it’s been a few weeks since the end of the 2021 season for the 49ers, the evaluation of this team will continue through the offseason until the 2022 version of this roster has been constructed.
While he likely won’t be on the team next season, Jimmy Garoppolo will always be the center of discourse with the 49ers as long he’s on the roster because he plays the sport’s most important position.
Pro Football Focus released its annual quarterback evaluation guide, “QB Annual,” on Monday. It had a lot of nuggets about Jimmy Garoppolo’s quarterbacking that helped put his 2021 season into perspective.
The first part that stood out was Jimmy Garoppolo’s heat map of his targets. The more red the area, the higher the target rate compared to the average quarterback. The more blue the area, the lower the target rate.
Here’s Jimmy Garoppolo’s targets from the 2021 season (via PFF’s QB Annual).— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) February 22, 2022
No one chart describes the #49ers’ offense better than this one.
Shanahan hammered Garoppolo’s strength all season long despite every defense trying to stop it. Pretty nuts. pic.twitter.com/MzPJooP3BR
Another thing that stood out was a chart that displayed “Big-Time Throws” vs. “Turnover-Worthy Plays.”
PFF defines “Big-Time Throws” as a throw that’s in tight windows, with excellent timing and ball placement. Throws further down the field also score well.
As the name would suggest, turnover—worthy plays are plays that could potentially result in a turnover.
Ideally, quarterbacks should be in the Top Left — the highest rate of Big-Time Throws and lowest rate of Turnover-Worthy Plays. The quadrant to avoid is the Bottom Right — the highest rate of Turnover-Worthy Plays and the lowest rate of Big-Time Throws.
PFF’s Big-Time Throw Rate vs. Turnover-Worthy plays.— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) February 21, 2022
Ideally, you’d want to be in the top left, but definitely not in the bottom right. pic.twitter.com/eJmV4LEMHA
Take a look for yourself and see where Jimmy Garoppolo’s located on the chart.
PFF also graded the quarterbacks from clean pockets vs. under pressure. Garoppolo was one of the best passers in the NFL last season in a clean pocket but didn’t fare well when pressured by opposing defenses.
In a perfect world, the quarterback is in the Top Right, but Garoppolo grades out in the Top-5 in a clean pocket, which is still an excellent thing.
PFF grades from a clean pocket vs. under pressure.— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) February 21, 2022
Ideally, you’d want to be in the top right, but definitely not in the bottom left.
Garoppolo was one of the best passers from a clean pocket, not so great under pressure in 2021. pic.twitter.com/asIGLrRowW
The QB Annual guide also broke down the different routes that Garoppolo targeted this past season. As most would expect, 37 percent of the 49ers’ quarterback’s throws were over the middle of the field. Slants, in-breaking, and crossing routes were the most popular for Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s 3 most targeted routes in 2021 (via PFF’s QB Annual):— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) February 21, 2022
1. Slant (14%)
2. In (13%)
3. Crossing (10%)
37% of his throws were in-breaking routes over the middle.
The last thing that I was interested in was comparing the 2019 and 2021 seasons for Garoppolo. There’s been a lot of discourse around comparing the two seasons because it’s been the two healthy Garoppolo seasons.
I was surprised to see how similar the signal-caller was in the two seasons. Safe to say that the 49ers missed this level of stability from the quarterback position in 2020 when the 49ers failed to make the playoffs.
Jimmy Garoppolo 2019 vs. 2021:— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) February 21, 2022
* Attempts: 504
* On-Target %: 78.5
* Deep Pass %: 6.3
* ADOT: 6.8
* Rating: 100.9
* EPA/Play: 0.12
* Attempts: 515
* On-Target %: 77.3
* Deep Pass %: 7.6
* ADOT: 7.6
* Rating: 95.0
* EPA/Play: 0.13
Similar season, similar results.
Pretty neat to see how both seasons for Garoppolo were so similar in some of these advanced metrics. Similar seasons which ended in deep playoff runs for the 49ers.
For the full guide that PFF puts together, check it out here.