49ers well positioned in upside-down NFC with Jimmy Garoppolo back at QB

Everyone knows what the 49ers get with Garoppolo. He will manage the game, limit mistakes and do just enough to make his critics complain about his skills. And you know what? It is very good. It’s nice to have Aaron Rodgers, but it doesn’t mean much if his receivers stink. The same goes for Tom Brady if half his offense is sidelined by injuries, and for Matthew Stafford if he throws 75% of his passes at Cooper Kupp.

The 49ers beat the Cowboys and Packers in the playoffs last season. They had a six-game winning streak against the Rams until they fell to Los Angeles in the NFC title game. Garoppolo was a major part of that success, and he’d probably be playing elsewhere now if offseason shoulder surgery hadn’t narrowed his trade options. The 49ers got a steal when they restructured his contract to make him the replacement, and now he has the perfect opportunity to sell himself to next year’s bidders.

The saddest thing about it all was watching Lance ride a cart into another year of uncertainty after breaking his ankle in the first quarter of Sunday’s 27-7 win over Seattle. There were already skeptics who wondered how his limited gaming experience would affect his development. Lance only played one game as the second redshirt player at North Dakota State (the team played the rest of its season in the spring due to COVID-19) and then didn’t. attempted only 71 passes as a rookie. There will be even more questions after a third straight year with little action. Lance revealed predictable growing pains when he seemed overwhelmed by a Week 1 loss to Chicago. With the second-year QB out for the season, the 49ers have to hope this setback doesn’t put the brakes on what appears to be a stellar career.

It’s also why San Francisco clung to Garoppolo and refused to just give it away. In a perfect world, Lance would be healthy and maturing, and Garoppolo would have been available with a manageable injury. It was a sensible approach by a clever franchise. They have been too close to a championship in recent years to leave too much to chance.

The 49ers can now see how their team reacts with its former leader back in charge. We’ve all heard so much about the respect Garoppolo commands in this building and the love he inspired through his play. Well, it’s set to have more in the very near future. That’s because the quarterback who was supposed to hold the 49ers back is currently in a good position to take them where they ultimately want to go.

Comments are closed.