Jimmy Garoppolo played terribly in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. I drank way too much on my wedding night. Sometimes, in the biggest moments of our lives we aren't the best versions of ourselves. I'm glad my wife hasn't had the same response that many 49ers fans and media members have had towards Jimmy Garoppolo.

Message boards and day-time sports talk TV shows are filled with people suggesting the 49ers should move on from Garoppolo. Skip Bayless, celebrity sports clown, suggested that the 49ers cut Jimmy Garoppolo and sign Tom Brady, a past middle aged man who is playing at a past middle aged level. Some have suggested the 49ers turn to backup QB Nick Mullens and outright cut Garoppolo in the off-season.

This is what losing the Super Bowl does, it breeds insanity. The emotional pain of the fans comes packaged with a heavy dose of irrational thinking. Couple that with the incessant need for hot-take sensationalistic viewpoints that the media demands, and you have a perfect storm for stupidity. Jimmy Garopplo is 21-6 as the starting QB of the San Francisco 49ers. Without Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan has a record of 4-20. Would any sane person choose to go back to 4-20 when he or she has experienced 21-6? I'll give you the answer, no, sane people don't choose failure over success.

Garoppolo has only six losses, but one of them is the worst loss you could possibly have: the Super Bowl loss. One of the hardest parts of digesting that Super Bowl loss is how it happened. All season long Garoppolo was brilliant in the 4th quarter. He led the league with four 4th quarter comebacks and whenever the 49ers needed a big play from the offense, they usually could rely on Garoppolo to come through in the clutch. Through three quarters Garoppolo played well. He wasn't dominating but he was trademark Jimmy, accurate and in command of the offense, with one bad throw. Even with that bad interception in the first half, he was trademark Jimmy as he came back on the very next drive and scored a TD, much like he did during the season. Leading 20-10 in the 4th quarter, Garoppolo was 18-22 with 1 TD and 1 INT and everything was looking good in 49er land. Then it all fell apart in devastating fashion. Garoppolo's 4th quarter stats paint a vile picture, 3-11, 36 yards, 1 INT. There are no excuses for this type of play, during the biggest moments of the biggest game, Garoppolo came up small.

Another Jimmie came up small in the 4th quarter as well, S Jimmie Ward. On 3rd and 15, Ward let Tyreek Hill beat him for a 44-yard pass that sparked the first flame of the Kansas City comeback. That wasn't the only third down where the 49ers failed on defense. On that same drive S Tarvarius Moore failed to look back while covering TE Travis Kelce and drew a PI penalty that placed the Chiefs on the goal line. The secondary woes wouldn't end there either. On essentially the game-winning drive, stellar CB Richard Sherman was shaken out of his boots by WR Sammy Watkins for 38 yards, putting the Chiefs on the 10-yard line down three. Those three plays made more impact on the outcome of the game than any of the miserable moments of Garoppolo's fourth quarter. The defense played great for 3 quarters, but just like its QB, it failed in the fourth. Not only did the players fail in the 4th, so did the coaches. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan failed to close out another Super Bowl where his team led in the 4th quarter by two scores. This was a team collapse, top to bottom.

Long-time 49ers fans can have a sense of spoiled entitlement when it comes to the QB position. When Joe Montana and Steve Young occupy your QB room for two decades and bring you five Super Bowls it's hard to accept failure on the biggest stage in American sports. So, since Jimmy Garoppolo lost the one Super Bowl he was in, during his first full year as starting QB, then he must not be capable of winning the Super Bowl. Nonsense. Digging into the history books there have been three quarterbacks who have lost their first Super Bowls and went on to win one later in their careers: Len Dawson (lost SB1, won SB4), Bob Griese (lost SB6, won SB7 & SB8) and John Elway (lost SB21, won SB 32 & SB 33). So, not only is it possible, but twice the QB went on to win multiple championships.

Quite simply, Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be replaced. Not only has he delivered for the 49ers statistically (best QB rating in a full season since Steve Young in 1997) and in the win column (21-6), he is also a true leader. Garoppolo is loved by his teammates, many players throughout the past three years have lauded Jimmy for his commitment to winning and being a downright good guy, who people gravitate to. He isn't Cam Newton, a Super Bowl loser who storms out of a press conference. Nor is he Ben Roethlisberger, a Super Bowl loser who will throw teammates under the bus and alienate his most talented playmakers (Emmanuel Sanders, LeVeon Bell & Antonio Brown).

Maybe we should all just take a step away. Read a good book, binge a series on Netlix or just pick up a new hobby. One quarter of football, no matter how bad it was (let's credit KC as well here, Chris Jones knocking down 2 passes is a reflection of his skill and not a lack of Jimmy's), shouldn't discredit the 80+ quarters of football that preceded it. Jimmy Garoppolo didn't wake up a good QB on February 2, 2020 and go to sleep a bad QB that same night. He will return in 2020, and he will continue to be a very good player, just as he was prior. Remember this is a QB who ranked 8th in passer rating, 5th in TDs, 3rd in YPA, and 5th in completion percentage in his first full season as a staring QB while coming off an ACL injury. Jimmy Garopplo is a winner, no matter how foolish your emotions may be causing you to act.
  • Written by:
    36 year old husband & father of 4, life-long 49ers fan living in Hudson Valley New York.