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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Improbable Win Extends The Jimmy Garoppolo Era

Jan 23, 2022 at 9:22 AM--

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The 49ers 13-10 victory over the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers last night left the reigning MVP's future in doubt. The win also extends the Jimmy Garoppolo era for the 49ers by at least one more game, with Trey Lance already penciled in as the starter for next season. The Garoppolo-led 49ers await the winner of todays Divisional round matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Whoever wins, the sixth seeded 49ers will be on the road as they try to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

Jimmy Garoppolo's tenure as the starting quarterback for the 49ers has been up and down. He went 5-0 after being traded from the New England Patriots during the 2017 season. The next season Garoppolo only played in three games due to injuries, a theme that would plague his time as a 49er. The next season Garoppolo went 13-3 as a starter and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl, which they lost in the final minutes to the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo was a part of the rash of injuries that depleted the 49ers roster during the 2020 season. Garoppolo doesn't put up gaudy numbers but the 49ers win while he is under center, his record is 31-14 as the starter for the 49ers. Despite his success, 49er fans have come to expect at least two flawed decisions each game that leave them holding their breath. The 49ers are making this playoff run with a few head scratching statistics from Garoppolo.

Garoppolo has yet to throw a touchdown this postseason. If you include the Week 18 win versus the Rams, which was in essence a playoff game for the 49ers because a loss would have eliminated them from playoff contention, Garoppolo has only thrown one touchdown in three 49er "playoff games." During that span he has thrown four interceptions, yet somehow the 49ers are in the NFC championship game.

With Kyle Shanahan consistently putting Garoppolo in positions to succeed by getting the ball out of his hands quickly to the 49er playmakers, this playoff run has likely increased Garoppolo's trade value. A huge win for a front office that spent three first rounders to draft Trey Lance during last year's draft.

There are a number of NFL teams who feel that they are on the cusp of the playoffs or could make a deep run with the right quarterback. Given Garoppolo's pedigree as a winner from his time with the Patriots and his success as a 49er, it is hard to imagine the 49ers not getting what they feel like is adequate value on the trade market this offseason for Garoppolo.

In spite of all the conversation and debate that swirls around Garoppolo, the players in that locker room genuinely play for him. His 49er teammates not only say the right things about him in the media, they also go out on the field and perform to back him up. Even with his well documented injury history, Garoppolo's trade value is likely rising during the 49ers current surge through the NFC playoffs as he plays through an injured thumb and sprained shoulder.

The 49ers sit 60 minutes away from a chance to redeem themselves for the Super Bowl LIV victory that slipped out of their grasp. An errant late pass by Garoppolo was the impetus for the 49er fans questioning Garoppolo's ability to deliver in the pressure moments. One week from tonight we will know if the Jimmy Garoppolo era will culminate in Super Bowl LVI or if the trade that went down on October 31, 2017 was actually more trick than treat for the 49er fans.
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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