Early on during the San Francisco 49ers' third preseason game of 2019 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked like he was going to have struggles similar to the ones he endured the previous Monday against the Denver Broncos, where he went a lowly 1-of-6 for a net of zero yards, an interception and a passer rating of 0.0.

But Garoppolo, whose struggles in Denver caught the attention of both local and national media, quickly bounced back in Kansas City -- the same location where he tore his ACL early in 2018 -- and managed to find his rhythm following the Niners' initial offensive drive. After the Chiefs scored a quick touchdown in the first quarter, Garoppolo and the 49ers offense marched down the field, which culminated in a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back Matt Breida:


That was Garoppolo's lone touchdown of the night, yet two other drives ended with San Francisco field goals from kicker Robbie Gould. More importantly, at least according to head coach Kyle Shanahan, Garoppolo got into a rhythm and didn't have to worry so much about being pulled after only a handful of snaps.

"It's very tough in preseason games to rebound from stuff when you're taken out," Shanahan told reporters following the game. "Fortunately, [Garoppolo] knew he was playing the whole half, and he took advantage of it."

Garoppolo finished the night going 14-of-20 for 188 yards, the touchdown and a passer rating of 116.2.

"It was a lot different than last week," Garoppolo said afterwards. "Once you get the first verse down, you start getting into a rhythm. The run game was looking really good. I barely got touched, just the one sack. But the line blocked tremendously up front, and I barely got touched. That makes everything a lot easier."

San Francisco's pass protection wasn't particularly great in Denver against the Broncos, who boasted the league's second best pass-rush productivity after the week, according to Pro Football Focus. Kansas City entered this contest with the 19th-ranked pass rush, per PFF. And Garoppolo's lone sack came from one of the Chiefs' top pass-rushers, Frank Clark, whom Kansas City acquired from the Seattle Seahawks during the offseason.

"Jimmy was pumped for today," Shanahan continued. "When guys don't play well the week before, and everyone's talking about it, all guys want to do is get back out there and it couldn't come fast enough. And I'm glad it worked out for him."

Garoppolo's performance in Kansas City should help put to rest some of the numerous concerns emanating from what happened in Denver. And with the 49ers hosting the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4 of the preseason -- a contest which will all but entirely feature reserves and backup players -- the hope for Garoppolo will be Saturday's efforts translating over into the team's first regular-season bout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 8.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.