Let’s take a look at how the Quarterbacks of the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have done at their teams starting with the signal caller for the 49ers. First up, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo joined the 49ers just before the trade deadline in 2017 and was thrown into the team quicker than planned as CJ Beathard got injured nearing the end of their game with Seattle and so his career in San Francisco began. While their season was effectively over it gave the team a good chance to see how he was and he quickly started paying back the contract they gave him by winning the final 5 games of the season.
His 2018 season was cut short by an ACL injury when gaining an extra yard or two against the Chiefs, the 49ers were 1-1 before that after a road defeat to the Vikings and a home win against the Lions. His TD:INT ratio was 5:3 the time of the injury.
The Superbowl Run
That brings us to the 2019 season where Jimmy played all 16 games without major injury, leading the 49ers to their first 8-0 start since 1990 and their best finishing record since 2011 which was also 13-3. He finished the regular season this year with nearly 4,000 yards, a completion percentage of 69%, 27 TDs to 13 INTs and a 102 passer rating. Not an awful season on paper and more importantly for bettors the team were 9-6-1 against the spread.
The interceptions he has thrown this year are the main worry for me though; he threw at least one in 10 of their 16 games this season and gave the ball away with a terrible throw in the divisional round game against the Vikings, that game could have been even worse as the Vikings D missed a couple of other chances for turnovers as he apparently couldn’t see their linebackers.
Last week they kept the ball out of his hands only throwing 8 times for 77 yards while running 42 times. Hell, if something works as well as that run game did then keep on doing it.
Let’s Dig a Little Deeper Into his Season
Looking a bit more in-depth on Garoppolo this year, PFF ranked him 10th out of their qualifying QBs while the NFL passer rating has him at 7th. Surprisingly to me he actually led the league in yards per attempt with 8.4 just a touch ahead of Patrick Mahomes in second. (See Patrick Mahomes’ profile here)
According to PFF Garoppolo was pressured on about 30% of drop backs this season which is one of the lowest figures in the league, quite impressive when you consider their offensive line was pieced together at times with injuries to a number of key players in that position. When under pressure though he ranked 4th out of starting QBs in adjusted completion percentage, completing nearly 69% of his passes. However, where he does fall off a little is 5:5 TD to INTs when pressured which ranks him below halfway in the league when the rush gets to him.
Keeping him Clean
In a clean pocket though which they manage 70% of the time Garoppolo leads the league in TDs thrown this season with 22 and he ranks 5th in yards gained when kept clean with a completion percentage of nearly 82%. Once again though he was worryingly high in the number of interceptions he threw even with a clean pocket with 8 this season.
So What Should we Expect this Coming Week?
The numbers have him around a top 10 QB, he ranked highly in a number of areas, the completion rate while under pressure was particularly impressive, but arguably more impressive than anything I can point to when looking at his stats this season are the most important numbers, his wins v losses. As a starter he’s an impressive 23-5. He just wins. When he’s called upon to throw the ball he does it well, take the 48-46 win against the Saints the prime example; 4 TDs, 349 yards and some clutch plays at the end of the game to help get them into field goal range to win the game.
He will have to throw more than 8 times and 77 yards this week though as I’m expecting the Chiefs to be able to score quickly; his passing line is around 31.5 pass attempts, 240 or so yards, and he’s even money to throw for 2 or more TDs.
Can he Lead his Team to the Win if he’s Required to do so?
Well, the 49ers led the league in ‘coin flip’ games this year (where neither team has more than 60% of winning with 5 minutes left) you could say they got lucky, you could say their QB was calm under pressure and you could say they’re brilliantly coached. It’s probably a little of all of those, but Jimmy Garoppolo is a winner and it will be tough to back against him next week.