The Niners beat the Chicago Bears in Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start as a 49er. While not proclaiming him as the next Montana or Young, Garoppolo’s performance on the field has plenty of positives going forward. He looked poised, smooth, and “quiet” in the pocket, surveyed the field and delivered fast and accurate passes to his receivers. He completed 26 of 37 passes for 293 yards and threw one interception which in fact was a completed pass but the defender, Kyle Fuller, grabbed the ball away from Louis Murphy while being tackled… a brilliant play by Fuller. The most impressive stat of the day was that Garoppolo was an amazing 10-18 on 3rd down plays. This allowed the Niners to control and dominate time of possession throughout the game.
The only negative stat on offense was that they were 0-5 in the red zone. As Garoppolo gets more accustomed to Shanahan’s playbook and his teammates, touchdowns will come.
While the Bears are not an elite team, they have beaten the Steelers, Ravens, and Panthers who are all playoff teams and lost to the Falcons by 6, the Vikings by 3, and the Saints by 8.
This was Garoppolo’s 3rd start in the NFL. What shined through was his 4 years of college experience at Eastern Illinois and more importantly, 4 years of tutelage under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady with the Patriopts. His poise in the pocket did in fact remind me of Brady.
The victory was also sweet for Robbie Gould, who kicked 5 field goals accounting for all of the scoring the Niners needed to win, 15-14. Gould was the kicker for the Bears for the first 11 years of his career.
Credit must be given to the Niner Defense as they held the Bears to a season low 147 yards of total offense on only 36 offensive plays. Lastly, the Offense line played perhaps their best game giving Garoppolo time in the pocket and allowing only 2 sacks against a good defensive front.
Special teams allowed a long punt return touchdown, but they have been a solid unit throughout the year.
Lot’s to get excited about knowing that there are still a lot of holes to fill on this team whom I believe is heading in the right direction.
Head shaking happenings around the league:
- 2 weeks ago when the Buffalo Bills were still in the playoff hunt, they inexplicitly benched their QB, Tyrod Taylor, for a rookie Nathan Perriman. He promptly threw 5 interceptions in the first half so they reinstated Taylor as the QB… HUH ???
- The hapless NY Giants benched Eli Manning who had started all 210 games he played in for the Giants over 13 years. The coach, Ben McAdoo’s conversation went something like this: “Hey Eli, I’m going to head in a different direction so I’m starting Geno Smith as he gives us a better chance to win. I know you gave us 2 Super Bowl wins and won some MVP awards but it’s your fault that we are 2-10 this year. I also know that you’ve started 210 consecutive games so I’m giving you the option to play the first snap of the game to continue your streak… What do want to do?”… The result of this total disrespect for a future Hall of Famer has resulted in McAdoo being fired.
- What in the world has happened to the KC Chiefs??? They started 5-0 and since have lost 6 of their last 7 games. Can they return to their winning ways? At least, Andy Reid will not bench Alex Smith like the Bills and Giants did with their QB’s…
- The CEO of Papa John’s came out with a ludicrous statement saying that the NFL protests during the National Anthem has hurt his business. When I want pizza, I for one, do not even think of Papa John’s… Hey, Papa… I suggest that you make better pizza, then your business will pick up….
- Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, has made threats to Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL over the Zeke Elliott suspension. He does not want the owners to approve of Goodell’s extension as Commissioner. Hey Jerry: When the vote is 31-1 against you, your chances of success is slim…. Also, regarding Elliott, other than his assault charges against his ex-girlfriend, hasn’t he had 4 other NFL code of conduct charges levied against him? (Visiting a marijuana store, two car accidents under unusual circumstances, and pulling down a blouse of a woman, not once but twice during a parade that he attended). Lastly, I read that Papa John’s levied his National Anthem complaint under your direction. Like Papa John’s, when I think of an NFC Champion, I do not even think of the Dallas Cowboys. I suggest that you make your team better, then your chances of being a good football team will improve.