Jimmy Garoppolo’s time in San Francisco has been a roller coaster to say the least. From a surprising trade that landed him in the Bay Area and bolstering a 1-10 49ers team to five consecutive wins at the end of the 2017 season, he was a rock star. People were already praising him as the next great quarterback in the NFL.
And then the ACL tear happened in Week 3 of the 2018 season and squandered all of the hype surrounding him. He would gain a lot more of the same expectations back at the start of this year’s training camp. And then a lot of that would begin to deteriorate with the five consecutive interceptions in practice and then the miserable second preseason game against the Broncos, a game in which he received a QB rating of 0.0.
However, it’s only the preseason. And with Garoppolo in a redemption mindset after seeing his 2018 season end so unfortunately is going to make him want to prove his doubters wrong even more.
And in the final days before the regular season begins, here are three last-minute predictions for Jimmy Garoppolo for this season.
3. Garoppolo will go over 4,200 passing yards
The last time the 49ers had a 4,000-yard QB in a season was Jeff Garcia in 2000. It’s been a long road for the team in finding a long-term successor who can put up the numbers that come with a franchise quarterback’s level.
During his time in San Francisco, he’s averaged 253.1 yards per game. This works out to 4,048 passing yards in a full 16-game schedule. And with the additions of rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd as well as the renaissance of tight end George Kittle, these numbers should go up.
Plus with the added luxury of strong receiving threats out of the backfield in Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Kyle Juszczyk, Garoppolo should be able to get the ball out and produce in big chunks.
It’s going to be a fun time in Kyle Shanahan’s offense with all of these weapons.
2. He will be in the Top 10 for Passing Touchdowns
Jimmy Garoppolo is a gunslinger. He’ll throw it into any area that he feels his receiver can catch it. And since coming to San Francisco, he’s had success in getting the ball to his receivers in the end zone.
A lot of the Shanahan system is to get the ball into the hands of the receivers and allow them to create plays and potentially get scores on big plays. And with the weapons San Francisco has put together for him, it wouldn’t be surprising if Garoppolo’s touchdown numbers explode.
Not only are his receivers guys that can exploit weaknesses in the defense in the open field, but the team finally has red zone targets.
Towering presences like Hurd and Kittle will be matchup problems for any defensive back trying to cover them. Not to mention the schematics Kyle Shanahan should have planned for when they’re in that area for the more smaller receivers like Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor.
So much of this offense was derailed with Garoppolo’s ACL tear.
And now that he’s back and healthy, the touchdowns should be frequent with the talent around Garoppolo.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo will Win Comeback Player of the Year
If there is any player that is a front-runner for Comeback Player of the Year, it’s Garoppolo.
Someone flying high and having all of that crashing in just the third week of last season is something devastating. He’s had to wait almost an entire year to get back on the field. And now, he has a chance to showcase why everyone calls him a franchise quarterback despite his small sample size of games.
If he can guide the 49ers to a winning record and accomplish the previous predictions, then the award is his. Garoppolo has a chance at showing to everyone why he’s worth a five-year, $137.5 million contract.
But it starts with him not getting injured, especially making it out of the first three weeks of the season.