Jimmy Garoppolo is 22-5 as a starter if you include Saturday's playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has finally played through a full 16-game season for the first time in his career. The result? A playoff run that has him preparing for the NFC Championship Game and a potential trip to the Super Bowl.

Garoppolo passed for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during the regular season. Along the way, he knocked off teams like the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. Oh, and those wins came on the road, not in the safer confines of Levi's Stadium.

Despite his success, Garoppolo still has his fair share of critics. The quarterback's teammates, however, have always expressed full confidence in him. That includes veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has only been with the team since late-October. He spoke with reporters on Wednesday and was asked why Garoppolo doesn't seem to get the credit he seemingly deserves.

Sanders believes he has it figured out.

"I think from a team perspective, we have so many great pieces," the receiver said. "When you talk about the defensive line, when you talk about the secondary, when you talk about the linebackers, we got depth.

"When you talk about the running game that we have, when you talk about the passing game, it's hard to target one player and say, 'Oh, he is the reason why they are winning." I think that's the reason why they don't give Jimmy all the credit because they are saying, 'Oh, he's not the absolute reason why they are winning.'

"We have so many different ways that we can win, but at the end of the day, where they can't say that he isn't, is because he's won, he's a winner. The games that we weren't running the ball, where we had 34 yards, you'll see Jimmy go out and throw five touchdown passes and 400 yards.

"So, I love that aspect that we can run the ball and pass the ball. So that's kind of why he's not getting that credit, but he is a baller, and I'm happy he's my quarterback for sure."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked the same thing. He, too, had an idea why Garoppolo fails to receive much credit for the team's success. That will change if the quarterback can earn two more victories, starting with one on Sunday against the Packers.

"That's just how this world works," Shanahan explained, "and you'll get credit if you win a Super Bowl or an NFL MVP or something like that. We ran the ball last week, so a lot of people are going to say that Jimmy didn't do enough. There's lots of games this year that we haven't been able to run the ball, and we've had to win it by passing.

"That's what I'm proud of with Jimmy and proud of our team, that you can't really say that we have to win a game a certain way. I think we've shown that we can win a number of ways, which shows a lot to our players. I know Jimmy doesn't care how we win it, whether we're running it, throwing it, whether we've got to do it on defense to protect the ball, whether we've got to air it out to get some points.

"A lot of guys say that it doesn't bother them, but I promise it doesn't bother him. I've never had to call him in to talk to him about it. He is so locked into whatever the plan is, whatever we're doing. He's just trying to distribute the ball."