Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of their first victory of the season. Sunday's 31-21 win over the New York Giants was Kyle Shanahan's first since taking over the head coach job in San Francisco. It was also the first victory for rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who had the best game of his young career thus far.

When Beathard looks over his shoulder, he sees Jimmy Garoppolo – the quarterback the 49ers acquired two weeks ago by giving up a second-round pick. Garoppolo is viewed as the team's future and has been taking a crash course in Shanahan's offense since arriving in Santa Clara. His presence is a constant reminder to Beathard that his time as a starter may soon be up. However, the rookie quarterback tunes all of that noise out and focuses on his job today.

"All I can focus on is what I can do and try to help this team be better," Beathard told reporters following Sunday's game.

Against the Giants, Beathard completed 19 of his 25 passes for 288 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a passer rating of 123.4. He also ran the football into the end zone from 11 yards out.

A lot of Beathard's success was due to improved play from the offensive line. The 49ers quarterback was under constant pressure the week before. Against the Giants, Beathard was under pressure on just four of his 27 dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus.


A quarterback controversy in the Bay Area might sound ridiculous. Garoppolo, who has two fewer career starts than Beathard, is the 49ers' guy. He is the team's future. It's just a matter of waiting until he fully comprehends and can execute Shanahan's offense.

Because of Beathard's performance on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network doesn't believe the starting job should just be handed to Garoppolo.

"In my head, I kind of thought that Garoppolo would start after the bye," Rapoport said Monday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "I'm not saying that was the 49ers' plan, but in my head, that's kind of what I assumed it would be. You get the extra bye week to learn, you get him ready, and you go out there and play.

"But now, it's like, how do you not reward C.J. Beathard for what he did out there for his team? There's no rush for Garoppolo. It's not like saying, 'We've got to get him out right after the bye because if we don't, then ... whatever.' There's no 'whatever.' There's no rush for anything. Again, this team is not going to the Super Bowl, so one game, two games, it doesn't really matter.

"I have a hard time imagining there would be a quarterback change now because you want to reward a guy for what he did. And just like all of his teammates, C.J. Beathard has worked really hard to get here, this year, to actually win a game. He deserves to go out there and play."

Nothing Rapoport said is a knock on Garoppolo.

"I think Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be really good," Rapoport continued. "I really do. I think the 49ers have themselves a future franchise quarterback and, as a second-rounder, which they gave up, that's really good.

"C.J. was kind of a mid-rounder too, and I don't know what he is yet, and do we see mid-round quarterbacks thriving and winning Super Bowls? Like, for instance, the 49ers next opponent (the Seattle Seahawks who have Russell Wilson). I have no idea what Beathard is going to become but what if he's really good?"

As previously reported, the 49ers traded back into the third round of April's draft to select Beathard because general manager John Lynch didn't want Shanahan to lose any sleep. Beathard may not have been Shanahan's highest graded quarterback in the draft, but because of the perceived fit within his system, the passer was the only one that he wanted.

Do the 49ers owe it to themselves to see what they have in the rookie? Of course, at some point, they'll need to evaluate Garoppolo on the football field as well.

You can listen to the entire interview with Rapoport below.