Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan impressed with Jimmy Garoppolo and 49ers’ play in recent weeks

Nov 21, 2022 at 10:29 PM--

Kyle Shanahan was feeling good on Monday night. The head coach's San Francisco 49ers won their third consecutive game, with the latest being a 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in an international matchup in Mexico City.

The 49ers are getting hot, and have become a favorite to make some noise down the stretch and in the NFC playoffs, assuming things continue to trend upward for the team.

"I felt real good about the guys," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "[The players] had a great week of practice. They've really been gelling these last three weeks. I feel like it's gotten a little better each week, and it was nice to put a full game together today."

Players are also feeling the momentum build up.

"We're definately ready to go on a run," tight end George Kittle said. "We just won three straight, and our defense has played at an incredibly high level, not giving up points in the second half for multiple games in a row. And our offense, we've scored when we got in the red zone. That was big for us.

"We made plays outside the red zone, scored touchdowns, and that's been huge for us because that's one thing that's limited us as an offense, and that's put us in bad positions just because we've had to kick so many field goals."

After having to often explain what went wrong in earlier games this season, for three consecutive games, Shanahan has been able to share what went right. As Kittle pointed out, the 49ers have dominated in the second halves of those contests, outscoring their opponents a combined 54-0.

"Today, the first drive, I thought we got our run game going, we had a few big plays, and we scored in the red zone." Shanahan shared. "I think when you do that, it's a big difference."

Shanahan's quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, finished the game 20 of 29 for 228 yards, four touchdowns, and, most importantly, no interceptions. He had a passer rating of 131.9, his second-highest of the season. Garoppolo has not thrown an interception in nearly a month, since October 23.

"I think Jimmy's doing a great job," Shanahan said. "I think Jimmy always has. When Jimmy's been healthy out there, [and] we've had our guys around him, I think he plays at a very high level, and I think he did that today as good as he has. So we're very fortunate to have him."

Said running back Christian McCaffrey: "He's such a talented quarterback. Doesn't get as much credit, in my eyes, at all. He's a great leader, super smart, can make any throw, and just a great guy to be around. So it's just been a lot of fun being able to pick his brain, and kind of mesh with him."

The 49ers improved their record to 6-4 and will return home for a three-game stretch against the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I feel like we're playing better football each week, and that is the goal," Shanahan added. "You want to get better as the season goes. I feel like we're doing that right now."

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