The San Francisco 49ers enjoyed a statement win in Week 12 over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, coming away with a dominant and one-sided 37-8 victory over a Packers squad which trailed the Niners by a mere game in the NFC playoff picture before the contest.

And cornerback Richard Sherman thought it was a statement game for the 49ers' franchise signal-caller, Jimmy Garoppolo, too.

"Jimmy Garoppolo is our leader, and we will follow him into the darkest of dark," Sherman told reporters after the game. "We'll follow him into a dark alley, and I guarantee you won't touch him."

Garoppolo outdueled Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and then some, completing 70 percent of his passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. On the flip side, Rodgers managed to go 20-of-33 for 104 yards and one touchdown.

"You hear some of the noise and things said about him," Sherman continued about his quarterback. "It's frustrating, because we see him every day. We see what kind of work ethic he puts in, the hours he puts in, being the first one in and the last one out. The guy looks for no credit. All he does is encourage his teammates and puts more work in.

"And then you have people nitpicking. We'd run for 300 yards, and they're like 'well, he didn't throw a lot.' We ran for 300 yards! And then he throws for 400, and they're like 'well, I think he got outplayed by [Arizona Cardinals quarterback] Kyler Murray. ... The goal posts keep moving. But the one thing you can appreciate is being good enough for people to make excuses for you. He's a good enough quarterback that people have to move the goal posts for him."

The Packers were able to sack Garoppolo three times. But he remained poised within the pocket, hitting tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel for his two touchdown passes.

After the game, however, Garoppolo was surely appreciative of Sherman's comments.

"Whatever he says, it carries a lot of weight in the locker room and with the guys" Garoppolo said of Sherman's praise. "He's a leader of the team, he's been here before and he just sets a great example from the moment he walks into the building to when he leaves."

Sherman, Garoppolo and the 49ers get to leave Levi's Stadium with a 10-1 record after a one-sided beatdown of the Packers.
  • 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.