Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo overcomes shaky start, leads 49ers to important road win

Sep 20, 2021 at 3:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers won a hard-fought game against the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-11. The 49ers were able to overcome a sluggish start and grind out an impressive road victory to improve to 2-0 on the season.

The main cause for the lackluster start was the offense's inability to make a play in the first quarter. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked out of sync as he completed just three passes for 19 yards, while the offense failed to pick up a single first down in the opening quarter. Just one week after the near meltdown in Detroit, the 49ers' offensive misfires were an early cause for concern.

It's no secret that Garoppolo is playing to keep his job as starting quarterback, while first-round draft pick, Trey Lance waits patiently on the sideline. As Garoppolo struggled to get the offense going, it was easy to wonder if Lance could have provided a much-needed spark to the sputtering offense.

If Garoppolo was feeling any pressure, he didn't show it.

After a brilliant goal-line stand by the 49ers defense, the offense was pinned on their own three-yard line, with just over four minutes remaining in the half.

Up to this point, the Eagles had been the better team on both sides of the ball and the 49ers needed to find a way to move out of the shadow of their own goal post. The 49ers could not afford giving the ball back to the Eagles with prime field position.

After two running plays, the 49ers were faced with a 3rd and 3 on their own 10-yard line. Garoppolo was able to find Deebo Samuel for a five-yard gain to pick up a crucial first down. Garoppolo then completed three consecutive passes for 19 yards and got the offense moving downfield. Then, after going through his progressions, Garoppolo scrambled to the right when nothing was open downfield, gaining seven yards on first down, it was evident the 49ers were beginning to find their rhythm on offense.

Three plays later, Garoppolo threw a perfect pass in between defenders to Deebo Samuel for 40 yards, setting the 49ers up with first and goal on the Eagles' 11-yard line. The meticulous drive ended the next play, as Garoppolo found a wide open Jauan Jennings for the games first touchdown.

Garoppolo went a perfect seven of seven for 77 yards and a touchdown on the drive, while also running the ball twice for 11 yards to give the 49ers a 7-3 lead heading into halftime. While it was only a four-point lead, the 49ers were fortunate to be ahead and the momentum had begun to swing in the 49ers favor.

In the second half, Garoppolo was efficient, and appeared more confident as he led the offense on another 10-play drive, where the offense converted on two critical 3rd down situations. The drive resulted in Garoppolo sneaking his way into the endzone, giving the 49ers a 14-3 lead, with just over 10-minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The long drives wore down the Eagle's defensive unit and were vital to the 49ers success.

Late in the fourth quarter, when the Eagles were gaining momentum and got back to within a score. Garoppolo made a nice throw to fullback Kule Juszczyk for an eight yard gain, then ended the game on a quarterback sneak for three yards on 3rd and 1, a fitting way for the game to finish.

Overall, Garoppolo finished 22 of 30 for 189 yards, and a touchdown for a 100.6 quaterback rating. He also added 20 yards and a score running the ball.

Garoppolo's performance goes beyond the stat line. He was able to fight through adversity, and stay poised after a shaky start. There is a certain calmness to the offense when Garoppolo is on the field. Say what you will about Garoppolo as a quarterback, there are areas of his game that can improve, but he knows how to win football games.

We will see if Garoppolo will be able to keep the offense moving as the 49ers welcome the Green Bay Packers next Sunday.
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