Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Analyzing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2021 Season Through 5 Starts

Oct 29, 2021 at 9:30 PM--

Jimmy Garoppolo had his best game of the season in Week One when he threw for a season-high 314 yards and a touchdown; and that was against the Lions. Since that game, he has exceeded 250 yards passing just once and has turned the ball over six times over his last three starts. Since 2019, the 49ers are 9-2 when Garoppolo throws for 250 or more passing yards in a game. Garoppolo and the 49ers are especially struggling on third down, converting on just 31.4 percent of those plays, which ranks 30th in the NFL.

In 2019, when Garoppolo led the 49ers to a Super Bowl, they ranked fifth in the league in third-down conversion percentage at 44.3 percent, according to Team Rankings. Garoppolo is underperforming in nearly every statistical category, even when comparing him to the average NFL quarterback.

This Season Looks Familiar

Garoppolo's numbers through the first five games are nearly identical to his numbers through the six games he started last season. This season, Garoppolo is 94-of-145 with 1,106 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. In the six games he played in 2020, Garoppolo finished 94-of-140 with 1,096 yards and seven passing touchdowns.

Through his past ten games, Garoppolo has been consistently putting up average to below-average numbers, and it's time to accept the fact that he isn't an elite quarterback. He ranks 28th in total quarterback rating out of 32 qualified quarterbacks and is Pro Football Focus' 30th ranked quarterback. Waiting on Garoppolo is no longer an option for the 49ers as the trade deadline approaches. It seems his trade value continues to plummet. We've now seen Garoppolo as the 49ers starter in thirty games. In those games, he has thrown for three or more touchdowns just four times and has thrown for 300-plus yards in five of those games.

On a Positive Note

Although Garoppolo has struggled through his first five starts, there are some areas where he continues to play well, one of them being the play-action pass. According to Pro Football Focus, he has a 103.8 play-action quarterback rating, with 456 of his 1,106 passing yards coming off play-action.

Kyle Shanahan's offense with the 49ers has always found success when they prioritize the run before they begin to air it out. That showed this past weekend when Garoppolo was 8-of-11 for 126 yards and a touchdown on play-action passes. However, on regular dropbacks, he was 8-of-16 for 55 yards with two interceptions.

For Garoppolo and the offense to improve as a whole, they need to get back to what found them their success in the first place, the play-action pass.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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