49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo led all NFL QBs in 3rd down conversions this season
Call Jimmy Garoppolo “Cool Jimmy,” because when the going got tough, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback calmed down and played his best.
In 2019, Garoppolo led the NFL in third-down passing, completing half of his passes (65/130), per Washington Post. Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Deshaun Watson and Derek Carr rounded out the top five. Garoppolo’s opposer in the Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes, sat at sixth, hitting 46.1% of his passes.
Garoppolo’s third-down efficiency has helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. Though perhaps not a world-beater passer, he delivers when it matters most. For a team that favors the run, Jimmy G’s third-down passing is a blessing, as it adds trust to the man dropping back. If the 49ers are in a hole on third-down, they can turn to him.
“That’s usually where quarterbacks earn their money,” Garoppolo’s coach Kyle Shanahan said in November, via ESPN. “You can do a lot of things on first and second down. You can mix in run or pass to even out the game, but on third down, that pass rush is coming. They always have their best coverages and blitzes called. You need a good guy back there.”
The 49ers’ stout ground game doesn’t put the game into Garoppolo’s hands. In the NFC Championship, he only threw the ball eight times, yet San Francisco steamrolled Green Bay 37-20. However, when they need to pass the ball, they have somebody that is more than capable.
Garoppolo and the 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Feb 2. in Miami.
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