Jimmy Garoppolo may be handsome, but his stock is getting ugly.
After Sunday Night Football, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback that made a case for wins being a QB stat hit his second loss in a row for 2023. The Las Vegas Raiders hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers and fans got the full five-year San Francisco Jimmy G experience in four quarters. Interceptions, brain fart throws, and Garoppolo in the concussion protocol.
Garoppolo went 28 for 44 (63.6 completion percentage), two touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 72.5 rating en route to a 23-18 loss. There were some strange coaching decisions as well through the game, but it didn’t dismiss Garoppolo’s performance. It was one of his worst games as a starter. The last time he threw a three-interception game? Week 1 of the 2018 season against the Minnesota Vikings.
Before 2021, Shanahan could not win unless Garoppolo was behind center. When Garoppolo took snaps, the 49ers won. When he didn’t the 49ers were picking earlier in the draft.
Which was all the more puzzling about what would happen when the 49ers drafted Trey Lance. From the moment Garoppolo started as quarterback, the wins stacked up and each exit of the lineup for a significant stretch of time, the losses to the 49ers piled on. The argument was on if Shanahan would go back to mediocrity without Garoppolo like he did before. And if the 49ers stuck with Lance, he might have. Of course Brock Purdy happened. Heading into Week 4, the 49ers have not lost a single regular season game with Purdy behind center.
The fact Purdy is playing near or better than Garoppolo in several categories raised the question just how good Garoppolo was. With Josh McDaniels and a familiar system, he had his chance to show the 49ers made a mistake in moving in.
Instead, his time in Vegas not only raises the questions of if Shanahan had masked him, it confirms reason No. 423453 why the 49ers decided to get Trey Lance in the first place. In San Francisco he was supported by a good defense and gameplans that put the balls in Raheem Mostert’s hands. In Vegas, he’s only beaten the Denver Broncos by one point.
It’s still early in the season, and the Raiders don’t have near the defense of the 49ers, but if Garoppolo had any chance to show he made Kyle Shanahan, that chance is picked away with each interception. Garoppolo has shown he can play in this league, and it was generally assumed that without a juggernaut of a roster around him, it would be a different atmosphere.
Did anyone think this was the result?