Jimmy Garoppolo Shows Why 49ers Drafted Trey Lance in Loss to Titans

Garoppolo tossed a pair of bad interceptions in the 49ers-Titans game on "Thursday Night Football"

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers calls out instructions against the Tennessee Titans
Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers calls out instructions against the Tennessee Titans.
Dylan Buell/Getty

An eight-year pro with a career record of 32-14 as a starter in the regular season, Jimmy Garoppolo looks like an ideal NFL quarterback on paper. On the field, it’s another matter entirely.

Despite having a strong second half of the season, the San Francisco 49ers QB tossed a pair of costly interceptions on Thursday Night Football and was a huge reason why the Niners fell to the Tennessee Titans  20-17.

Without a doubt, Garoppolo has had a strong season despite having rookie Trey Lance — for whom the Niners traded away two first-round picks and a third-round selection in April’s NFL Draft — looking over his shoulder.

But Garoppolo, who completed 26-of-35 passes for 306 yards with one touchdown in addition to the two picks in the loss to the Titans, is the past, not the future, in San Francisco.

For everything 30-year-old Garoppolo does well, he does something else poorly and has a tendency to get in a rut where he misses easy throws or locks in on a single receiver. Garoppolo also can’t throw over the middle of the field — and it is clearly catching up with him.

That being said, Garoppolo is still an NFL-caliber quarterback and, as his career record indicates, a winner. But the question of whether he can win a big game, especially if he has to put the team on his shoulders and make tough throws down the field, remains. Performances like last night’s do not work in his favor.

The way San Francisco general manager John Lynch (who pulled the trigger on trading with the Patriots to bring Jimmy G to the 49ers as well as the deal to secure his presumed replacement) talks about Lance, it may not matter how Garoppolo finishes the season, as it certainly sounds as if his time in San Fran is almost up.

“He runs the scout team, and he’s doing extremely well. He’s preparing each week as if he’s going to play. I really respect that part. That’s who he is,” Lynch said of Lance. “He’s making the ‘wow’ throws but also making the routine (look) routine. We’ve seen incredible growth and he continues to hone his throwing motion to make it a little more compact. He’s made great strides in all those respects.”

Expect to see that throwing motion on the field in San Francisco next season — if not sooner.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!