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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Jimmy Garoppolo: The Greatest QB Everybody Hates

Gilbert Brink
May 11, 2020 at 8:02 AM


Maybe it's because he is very handsome. Maybe it's because his coach chooses to run the ball more than pass it. Maybe it's because he dates porn stars. Maybe it's because his team lost a 4th quarter lead in the Super Bowl. Whatever the reason may be, people don't like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Sometimes players are just unlikable, I get it. While sports is based on physical abilities, the motivation to cheer for or root against a player often relies heavily on the personality of the player. Former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is a prime example of someone who is almost impossible to like. Manziel was a spoiled rich kid who had a terrible attitude and was a junky off the field. Mix in some domestic violence issues and you have a person who only a sociopath could get behind.

Jimmy Garoppolo is no Johnny Manziel. Actually, Jimmy Garoppolo is the complete opposite of a Johnny Manziel. After just 5 starts, the 49ers were eager to hand Garoppolo a 5-year contract worth $137 million dollars. In what could have been a "cash-in call out" moment, Garoppolo has done nothing but prove the 49ers right since signing that deal. Garoppolo battled back from a 2018 ACL tear to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in his very first season as a full-time starter. The success is impressive, even more impressive is the manner in which Garoppolo succeeds.

Over the last few months following Super Bowl 54 a cadre of teammates has come out in defense of Jimmy Garoppolo. From George Kittle to Richard Sherman to Kyle Juszczyk, hell, even recently departed WR Emmanuel Sanders went to bat the Jimmy Garoppolo. There is a reason for that. Garoppolo is a true leader of men. The humility and work ethic possessed by Garoppolo are the keys to his success. The best players are those who motivate others around them to be better, and Garoppolo does just that. Players want to win for Jimmy.

So why do so many people seem to dislike Jimmy Garoppolo? All offseason the media was obsessed with the concept of replacing Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. The Tom Brady to San Francisco manufactured media dream lasted for months on end, only for Tom Brady to never even get a phone call from the 49ers front office. With that dream dashed, the national media pivoted for a new Jimmy replacement. With the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love and drawing the ire of Aaron Rodgers, it didn't take long for the media to find another golden boy to take Jimmy's job.

All of this is sheer lunacy. Why do these conversations persist? What is it about Jimmy Garoppolo that causes this severe lack of appreciation? Recently a tweet by 49ers Webzone's own Levin Black got my wheels turning:

Even this talented writer, who is one of the very best podcast voices dedicated to 49ers content, was unable to see just how good Jimmy Garoppolo truly is.

Every possible metric from 2019 has been regurgitated ad-nauseum at this point. For brevity's sake, let's skip the statistical breakdowns of why Jimmy Garoppolo is a top tier QB (if you must know) and gloss over how winning matters most. Jimmy wins a lot. This is what was know as of 2020, but let's venture into the future.

In 5 years, we will be looking back on the NFL landscape and Jimmy Garoppolo will be one of the most dominant QBs over that time period. In one full season as a 49ers starter, Garoppolo made it to the Super Bowl while putting up big numbers. It is well known that the Kyle Shanahan offense is a difficult one to master, and while Jimmy has been on the team for 2 ½ years, starting in September Jimmy will be playing his 27th game for the 49ers. Quarterbacks tend to get better over time with consistent coaching. Players like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Russel Wilson & Ben Roethlisberger all improved yearly with the same coaching staff as time passed. Because stability is one of the 49ers' strong suits, Garoppolo will unquestionably grow into a better player than he was in 2019.

The 2019 season was Jimmy Garoppolo's floor as it was a season during which Garoppolo threw for 27 TDs, completed 69.1% of his passes, averaged 8.4 yards per attempt and earned a 102 QB rating. To understand how good Jimmy Garoppolo is, let us take a look at some other QBs' first years as NFL starters, specifically ones who were not rookies:

2008 Packers QB Aaron Rodgers – 28 TDs/13 INTs, completed 63% of passes, earned a 93.8 QB rating

1999 Rams QB Kurt Warner – 41 TDs/13 INTs, completed 65.1% of passes, earned a 109.2 QB rating

2006 Chargers QB Phillips Rivers – 22 TDs/9 INTs, completed 61.7% of passes, earned a 92.0 QB rating

2002 Patriots QB Tom Brady – 28 TDs/14 INTs, completed 62.1% of passes, earned a 85.7 QB rating

While you must account for the eras in which some of these seasons took place, also consider that Garoppolo plays for the most run-heavy offense in modern football. Garoppolo's numbers hang with, and sometimes best, Hall of Famers'.

Love him (49ers fans) or hate him, Jimmy G is on his way to dominating the NFL.
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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