Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

‘I thought Jimmy battled’: Kyle Shanahan assesses Garoppolo after 49ers beat Packers

Jan 22, 2022 at 11:13 PM--

"Jimmy G, you can't say enough about that guy," tight end George Kittle told reporters after Saturday night's win over the Green Bay Packers to send the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. "The [expletive] that he takes, excuse my language, consistently, people just try to pull him down, and all he does is try to deliver. He leads this team, he has a sense of calm in the huddle, he has a sense of calm in the storm, and he allows us to play football at a high level."

Jimmy Garoppolo is a polarizing figure, even within the 49ers fanbase. Some love him. A more vocal group points toward his inconsistent play as a reason to move on from the starting quarterback.

The 49ers didn't win Saturday's game because of Garoppolo. Of course, it doesn't help that he is injured, dealing with a right shoulder sprain and torn ligament in his right thumb.

Garoppolo finished the game 11-of-19 for 131 yards and an interception. He was sacked four times in the 13-10 victory. The performance was nothing spectacular, but it was a win in the end.

"I thought Jimmy battled," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. "I know he had that bad pick, which was unfortunate. That wasn't a good play. But some of the plays Jimmy made in the first half—I mean, the throw to Kittle was going to be a touchdown, and Kittle missed that. One play later, when they blitzed us, for him to get it off to Jauan [Jennings], and give a chance, I thought Jimmy made some really good plays in this game.

"I don't think people understand what that's kind of like out there, but I was happy with everybody."

Despite trailing for much of the game, Garoppolo never lost his cool. Instead, he had confidence in himself and his teammates to fight through the cold and a formidable opponent and keep their season going.

"There was a calmness, honestly," Garoppolo admitted. "It was probably midway through the first or second [quarter] that I realized it was going to be that type of game. They got off to a good start with that first drive, but our defense was playing great. There's just a feel to the game. Even when they had the lead, I felt like we were in control of the game, as crazy as that sounds."

Saturday marked the 49ers' third consecutive game won by six-or-fewer points. It's certainly been exciting. Maybe too exciting for The Faithful.

"But you could feel it on the sideline," Garoppolo continued. "It was really just we were waiting for that one play to spark us, and Jordan [Willis] with the blocked punt, the scoop-and-score [by Talanoa Hufanga], all that, it's just how we win. It's never going to be pretty, but we find a way."

Defensive end Nick Bosa also used the post-game pressers as an opportunity to express his faith in Garoppolo.

"I'm impressed with his demeanor just as a leader," Bosa said. "A lot of people give him crap for whatever, but he's as cool and collected [of] a quarterback as I've ever had, and he's a perfect guy to lead us to where we need to go."

San Francisco survived another hard-fought battle and is one win away from their second Super Bowl appearance in three years.

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