- On Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo saw his first action since being traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
- On Garoppolo’s first drive, he completed both of his passes, had four rushing yards, and finished the drive with an impressive touchdown throw.
- While one drive doesn’t mean much, Garoppolo showed the poise and accuracy that had many believing that he would eventually be the heir-apparent to Tom Brady in New England.
On Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo saw his first action as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and he did not disappoint.
After the New England Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick, he spent his first few weeks as a backup to rookie C.J. Beathard. While the 49ers almost surely dealt for Garoppolo to make him their future franchise quarterback, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo needed time to learn the offense.
That opportunity came in Week 12 when Beathard got hurt during a 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
With the game already out of reach, Garoppolo came in with 1:11 remaining. Though the sample size was limited, Garoppolo looked like a promising young quarterback who spent years learning under Tom Brady.
His first play was a short four-year scramble on third down to get a first down.
He then completed an eight-yard pass on the next play. With the 49ers down to Seattle’s 10-yard line, he stood strong in the pocket, avoided pressure, and threw a bullet pass for a touchdown while rolling out to his left.
“That looks very Tom Brady-ish, right, stand in the pocket, confident,” one of the announcers remarked.
Garoppolo’s 49ers career, so far: 2-of-2 passing, 18 yards, one touchdown.
Of course, one garbage-time drive doesn’t mean much, but Garoppolo’s poise and accuracy portend success as a full-time starter. Garoppolo looked good to great in flashes with the Patriots, and they were apparently sold enough on his talent that they viewed him as Tom Brady’s eventual successor (if only Brady hadn’t defied aging).
Furthermore, even in what’s considered a talented quarterback draft class in 2018, it’s unlikely that the 49ers could have gotten a better prospect than Garoppolo with the second-round pick they sent the Patriots. That Garoppolo spent the first three years of his career learning under Brady and Bill Belichick only enhances his value.
The 49ers face the Chicago Bears in Week 13, and if Garoppolo gets the start, it will be interesting to see if a defense with a full week of scheming can dull some of his shine.