Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

49ers-Broncos: Jimmy Garoppolo still looking to get in game shape, get on same page with offensive teammates

Sep 25, 2022 at 10:21 PM--

Last week, following a 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said that being under center for the 49ers offense after missing the offseason and preseason was "like riding a bike."

On Sunday, during a mistake-filled 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos that saw the offense commit three turnovers and a safety while converting just one of ten third downs, that bike at times looked like it had two flat tires.

In his first start since stepping back into the quarterback spot after a season-ending injury to Trey Lance, Garoppolo finished 18-of-29 with 211 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also stepped out of the end zone for a safety, fumbled a snap that was recovered by the Broncos, and looked out of sync during the second half after a solid early start that saw the 49ers jump out to a 7-0 lead with a touchdown drive on their second possession.

Garoppolo and the 49ers offense will find a number of different things that went wrong for them on Sunday when they review the game film, but one that was frequently mentioned after the game was a lack of rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Garoppolo suggested some of that had to do with him still getting back into the swing of things after being away from the team throughout the offseason and preseason while he was recovering from shoulder surgery and awaiting his 2022 destination, which wasn't expected to be the 49ers after the team committed to starting Lance.

"We weren't in a rhythm at all in the second half," Garoppolo said. "You could feel it, you could see it. We were talking about it on the sideline. Just thinking about it, it was my kind of first week with these guys. I've just got to get in a rhythm with them, especially like third down. We were terrible today. I've just got to get on the same page with those guys and we've got to convert those."

Before this week, Garoppolo was running the scout team for the 49ers after agreeing to return to the team on a restructured contract that paid him as a backup to Lance. Things changed quickly after Lance's injury, and now Garoppolo says he's trying to get back to where he was as a full-time starter.

"My arm's feeling it right now," Garoppolo said. "It's different. You try to do all the practicing and preparation you can on the sideline being the number two, then when you get tossed into it -- I didn't go through OTAs and training camp. I'm not trying to make excuses or anything but I've just got to get in game shape and get rolling now."

If indeed Garoppolo needs some time to recapture his chemistry with the rest of the offense, perhaps it won't take too long. Most of the players on offense have plenty of experience playing with Garoppolo, and now it's just a matter of getting things back to where they were in 2021.

"We had a good rhythm last year," Garoppolo said. "You could see it on the field and you could feel it on the sideline I think. We've just got to get back to that though. We're capable of that and we'll get there."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't send much criticism in Garoppolo's direction after the loss in Denver, saying instead that the mistakes were on the offense as a whole.

"In the second half, I don't think anyone on offense did good, including myself," Shanahan said. "We didn't really get into a rhythm the whole time. Our defense did a hell of a job keeping us in there, but we weren't able to get it going."

Garoppolo and the 49ers will have a bit of a long week to bounce back from their latest loss before hosting the Rams on Monday Night Football on October 3. With the 49ers off to a 1-2 start, the sooner Garoppolo gets where ne needs to be, the better.

"It's a different routine than I've been used to in the past. I've got to get back to where I was," Garoppolo said.


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