The San Francisco 49ers have their franchise quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo's Week-15 performance against the Tennessee Titans demonstrated how essential it is to have that franchise quarterback.
With eighty seconds remaining in the fourth quarter -- and down 22-20 -- the Titans had a 3rd-and-2 from San Francisco's 32-yard line. The 49ers knew that all they had to do was stop the Titans on third down. The Titans could very well make their long 4th-down field goal attempt, but it wouldn't matter. Jimmy Garoppolo would get the ball back with over a minute on the clock.
And everyone in the stadium knew what would happen next.
The 49ers did stop the Titans on third down, and the Titans did make the long field-goal attempt -- and took a one-point lead. After the subsequent kickoff, Garoppolo jogged onto the field with one timeout and 66 seconds left on the clock. And then Garoppolo did what a franchise quarterback does.
Three passes later, Garoppolo spiked the ball to stop the clock at the Titans' 30-yard line. A few seconds later, the 49ers swarmed kicker Robbie Gould after his game-winning field goal split the uprights as time expired.
Garoppolo's heroics weren't limited to the final drive. Throughout the game, the 49ers were stymied on the ground and were forced to attack the Titans through the air against heavy pressure. Garoppolo responded with 381 passing yards on 43 pass attempts, many of which were thrown moments before he was slammed to the ground by Tennessee defenders.
Garoppolo makes Buffalo Bills outcast Marquise Goodwin look like a true number-one wide receiver. Garoppolo gives Garrett Celek -- who led all tight ends in drops in 2016 -- his own "It's Celek Time" catchphrase in 2017. Garoppolo leads a 1-10 team to three straight victories.
Thanks to "Jimmy Franchise," the future is bright for the San Francisco 49ers.
|3 (22)||Penalties (Yds)||7 (70)|
|2 (50)||Punts (Avg)||1 (43)|
|27:25||Time of Pos.||32:35|
|Titans Player Stats|
|49ers Player Stats|