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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo under ‘tremendous’ pressure, one of the biggest question marks in the NFL, says Simms

Aug 20, 2019 at 12:35 PM--

Jimmy Garoppolo's outing against the Denver Broncos on Monday night didn't do the San Francisco 49ers quarterback any favors in the eyes of those still eager to point at last week's five-interception practice. Garoppolo went 1-of-6 for no yards with an interception. That will earn you a 0.0 NFL passer rating.

It was not good, but It was also Garoppolo's first game back since he tore his ACL 11 months ago. The quarterback looked rusty. He looked indecisive. He looked like he was feeling things out. Garoppolo looked like a quarterback coming back from a serious injury after missing a lot of playing time. If you were expecting him to go 5-for-5 for 80 yards and a touchdown, your expectations might have been set too high.

That doesn't necessarily mean Garoppolo will figure everything out and bounce back this season. He may. He may not. Garoppolo remains the biggest question mark on the 49ers roster right now, which is significant because much of this season depends on him staying healthy and playing well.

"He's one of the biggest question marks in the NFL and certainly one of the biggest question marks on the San Francisco 49ers football team," Chris Simms told Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk Live. "They have a lot of things going in the right direction. If you're looking at it as a guy who evaluates football, like you and I do, you go, 'Okay, offensive line? Pretty good. Defensive line? Pretty good, especially if you're healthy.'

"They got Kwon Alexander at linebacker. They've got some new receivers. They've got some new running backs. Everything looks like it's on the up and up in San Francisco, along with it being Lynch and Shanahan's third year. But we don't know what Jimmy Garoppolo is yet, to this point.

"This is the first time he's really had to face adversity in his career. Yes, it was a bad week altogether, whether it's the interceptions in practice, and this. I think it does show he's in a little funk […] He's kind of got to build himself back up, and Kyle Shanahan is going to have to build his confidence back up until he gets that Jimmy GQ swagger again."

Pro Football Talk also threw up the following not-so-subtle statistical comparison between Garoppolo and Nick Mullens during each quarterback's time in San Francisco, with a note that the 49ers can part ways with Garoppolo after the 2019 season and absorb just a $4.2 million cap hit in doing so.

Garoppolo Mullens
6-2 Record 3-5
64.8 Comp Pct 64.2
253.1 Pass YPG 284.6
12/8 TD/INT 13/10
$17.2M 2019 Base Salary $570K

"Jimmy G is under tremendous pressure," Simms added during a separate segment on PTF Overtime. "I would say, out of all the quarterbacks in football, I don't know if there's a quarterback under more pressure than Jimmy G, for all the reasons. I mean, we don't know what he is, he's being paid like he's a franchise-quarterback superstar, and of course, it's year three of the Shanahan-Lynch regime, and things haven't been that great to this point. So he is under tremendous pressure."

Simms believes 2019 is a make-or-break season for Garoppolo, who could be cut loose if the 49ers suffer another disappointing season.

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