- Jimmy Garoppolo’s first game since tearing his ACL last September was a disaster.
- Garoppolo completed just 1-of-6 passes for 0 yards, with 1 interception, and a 0.0 QB rating against the Denver Broncos, then sat after two drives.
- Garoppolo was understandably rusty, but given the 49ers’ $137 million investment in him and his lack of experience, some worry that he might not be a franchise quarterback.
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Jimmy Garoppolo’s first game with the San Francisco 49ers since tearing his ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 season did not inspire much confidence.
Garoppolo had a disastrous preseason outing against the Denver Broncos on Monday, going 1-of-6 for 0 yards, with 1 interception while posting a 0.0 QB rating in just two drives.
The sequence of Garoppolo’s night was as bad as it sounds: a tipped pass, an interception, an incompletion, a tipped pass that should have been an interception, an incompletion, and finally, a screen pass that netted zero yards.
Here’s a clip of all of his throws.
The 49ers offensive line — which was missing a few starters — did not do much to help Garoppolo. Missed and lazy coverage had Garoppolo under pressure on many of his throws. Between Garoppolo’s tendency to telegraph his throws and not stepping up in the pocket, he looked like a quarterback who has started only 10 games in five seasons.
David Zalubowski/APThat’s a problem for the 49ers, who signed Garoppolo to a five-year, $137 million contract in 2018 after he finished the 2017 season strong. Garoppolo’s first two games in 2018 were forgettable before he suffered the season-ending ACL tear.
The panic meter is starting to rise in the NFL world because interceptions have been a growing concern for Garoppolo in training camp and preseason. According to reports, during a recent practice, Garoppolo threw five straight interceptions.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell previously noted that Garoppolo’s numbers were not much different than 49ers third-stringer Nick Mullens.
Dieter Kurtenbach of the Mercury News wrote that 49ers fans should be panicked now.
"If Garoppolo was a quarterback with a proven track record, [brushing off Tuesday’s game] would be so much easier to do. But he isn’t — he’s started eight games for the Niners and while the win-loss record is strong, the peripherals raise questions.
"This guy is an enigma. All we know for sure is that this guy has a nasty habit of throwing the ball to the other team … His interceptable pass rate with the Niners is equal to his touchdown rate, and there’s been no evidence to date that he’s improving in that all-important area."
On Tuesday, Garoppolo admitted frustration but was looking forward.
"Obviously, a little frustrated," Garoppolo said after the game. "But that’s the NFL. Unfortunately, we don’t get to play the whole game right now. You only get so many plays. You wish you could be out there for more so you could bounce back and everything. It is what it is. It’s the preseason right now, so you just gotta take it in stride."
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he wasn’t going to panic after the game, adding that Garoppolo has to get his rhythm.
"He’s had a year off football, and before that, he only played about eight games total," Shanahan said. "The more he can play, the better. I wish we could have kept him out there longer today, but you risk everyone else too, so I had to get those guys out of there … Anytime you can’t get an offensive rhythm, everyone looks that way."
Preseason games aren’t always indicative of how things will go in the regular season. But with meaningful games less than three weeks away, Garoppolo’s readiness for full-speed NFL snaps was alarming.
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