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My main goal in re-watching this was to really observe and savor (hopefully) Jimmy Garoppolo’s first 49ers start. I would have liked to say the same about watching Mitchell Trubisky battle him but the Bears got a lead…and that very shrewd head coach John Fox tried to sit on the lead the whole game. Surprise! He failed…again. Trubisky got throw all of 15 times as Fox puts a lid on the pass game for reasons I do not understand.
Neither of these teams are going anywhere but this win had huge ramifications for the 49ers…a game they did not want to win in the front office. This win pushes the 49ers ahead of the Giants in the overall standings, so from the #2 draft spot to #3 for the 49ers this week…and one step closer to falling another draft spot if they ever end up tied with the three-win Bears because, now, the 49ers would ‘win’ that tie-breaker.
Having the #2 pick meant the 49ers could sell that pick for 2-3 year’s worth of 1st-round picks for teams/sheep trying draft Sam Darnold…but not so valuable for the #3+ pick. This win cost the 49ers a lot of assets, potentially.
That being said, keep in mind those of you riding Garoppolo as a hopeful QB2 the rest of the way… I would not be shocked if they benched him for C.J. Beathard this week…or the following week or the following week after that – using the excuse of ‘wanting to see the rookie too’. It’s more because they’re trying to lose.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- When I watched Jimmy Garoppolo (26-37 for 293 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) live on Sunday, with eight other games at the same time…I thought ‘he looked good’. However, when I really got to watch the tape play-after-play of just Garoppolo, I realized it was ‘a beautiful thing’ here. He was really, really good in this game…considering his circumstances.
The main thing I would covey about what I saw was this, and it just jumped/screams out to anyone scouting such things…or it should… Watching Garoppolo work the middle of the field like Tom Brady is a thing of beauty.
Watching Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz evade tacklers and make athletic plays is breathtaking. What they kinda suck at is sitting the pocket and reading defenses and picking them apart. Wilson has trouble with it because of his height, so he has to go mobile…and when he does he may be one of the best QBs of all-time. Wentz is just not a great ‘classic’ QB (and you saw that Sunday night). Overlooked amid the razzle-dazzle scrambling is whether a QB can sit in a pocket with trouble all around him and hit receivers on the money in the middle of the most traffic. Mediocre and bad QBs will sit in the pocket and fire deep balls (safer) or dump passes to RBs (safer), but rarely throw over the middle unless they are going to a big TE right in front of them with no one else really around the TE. However, great QBs dissect the middle like surgeons…utilizing WRs and TEs.
Jimmy Garoppolo is such a surgeon.
Time after time, boom-boom-boom Garoppolo was popping it to receivers in this game, in stride between or around the hashes…doing so with guys he’s barely played with. To me…someone who watches uncountable amounts of QB tape for study purposes year-round…to watch Garoppolo at work is like watching a great musician or painter at work. So good. Makes it look so easy you think ‘there’s not much there’ but subtly he’s doing work 97% of the QBs in the NFL cannot or will not do. There’s a reason the 49ers were able to kick five FGs for the win…Garoppolo was getting them in scoring position all day.
Now, Jimmy Franchise™ didn’t get a TD pass in this game but he was in-range often; had a little bad luck in the red zone and couldn’t convert one. They’ll happen.
Garoppolo is a QB1 of the future…a Brady-Brees hybrid working with an offensive-minded head coach. It’s going to be a beautiful thing in 2018+.
-- Take a look at these stat lines from Jimmy’s WRs…
Marquise Goodwin = 8-99-0/8
Trent Taylor = 6-92-0/6
What stands out to you?
Two no-name guys with 90+ yards in a game? True, but not what I noticed that caught my attention the most.
How about JG’s throwing accuracy to those two guys = 14 targets, 14 catches. There wasn’t one cheap throw in there that I recall. They were all down the field running real WR pass patterns.
Marquise Goodwin caught passes all over. He’s really stepped up. He’s this team’s top WR threat now (by attrition) and will take on the opposing teams top CBs. In the future, Goodwin will be a nice, dangerous #2 WR…he’s not a classic #1. He’ll produce in 2017 because he’s good and Jimmy G. is great.
What really made me lose my mind with joy – Trent Taylor. I was watching Brady-to-Edelman all SF-CHI tape long. It was a glorious thing. Taylor runs routes that CBs, most of whom are bigger/better athletes than Taylor, cannot keep up with…and Garoppolo-Taylor just made mincemeat of them. This combination is going to be something for a long time. WR3 or better in PPR the ROS.
With 2:15 left, 49ers down 14-12, 3rd & 9 from their own 40 (or so)…Garoppolo drops back and hits Taylor right on the money as he slices through the middle. The ball is so perfectly thrown and Taylor is so adept at making one cut and getting open that Taylor was able to grab the ball without hesitation and motored onward for a massive 3rd-down conversion for 33-yards. On an obvious passing down -- the Jimmy and Trent Show struck gold between the cracks. So, wonderful to watch greatness… *Insert Big Chef’s Kiss Here*
-- If you watched this game, you might have focused on Garoppolo and been impressed and elevated him (or kept him elevated) above Mitchell Trubisky (12-15 for 102 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) in your little black book of QB rankings in your heart. I get it. You’re not wrong to do so.
I would just advance…Trubisky is flashing brilliance too but he’s working in the sewer with this team and coaching staff. Watching Trubisky-Garoppolo is unfair to Mitch because of how dull the Bears offense is. The contrast of what they let Garoppolo do versus what they let Trubisky do in this game is night and day…and embarrassing. What is John Fox thinking? He thinks a low-scoring, defensive win over the 49ers makes him look good? He’s either doing this (governing the offense) because he’s a full-scale idiot or he’s just doing it to be vindictive to the GM who is about to fire him. Either way…not good for Trubisky for 2017 fantasy…as I postured earlier in the week on why even this juicy 49ers matchup could be bad for Trubisky. This is what John Fox does…’foxes things up’.
The freedom Jimmy had compared to the Bears offense…the Bears GM should have gone and fired the O-C at half-time because it was embarrassing compared to what the ‘lowly’ 49ers were doing.
-- Case in point…how the Bears use Tarik Cohen (2-5-0, 4-39-0/4, PR TD). Yes, I have to go here one more time with Cohen because this game was a great illustration of the debate of John Fox: Idiot or Vindictive?
This happened in Chicago on Sunday: https://youtu.be/pe4PH1_CGSc
Are you kidding me?
That’s one of the five most jaw-dropping plays of the NFL season. If you did the Top 10 most jaw-dropping plays of 2017, Cohen and Tyreek Hill might have half+ of the list. This happened in-game, 1st-half…an amazing feat of football talent returning a punt for a TD. It then NEVER dawned on the offensive coordinator but for just one more time the rest of the game to set up Cohen for a bubble screen. How in the world Cohen doesn’t see a minimum of five bubble screens a game is beyond me.
How Keenan Allen has 10+ catches every week and Cohen doesn’t have 10 catches total since like Weeks 3-13 is something I will never understand about the NFL. It’s why I feel safe in calling them all idiots among the coaching group. Me buck-shotting slanderous words over all of them…I’m probably right 95% of the time without even knowing the coach. They ALL are this stupid spare 1-2-3 of them…they just don’t all have Tarik Cohen to make it so obvious.
I have to blame Mitchell Trubisky for being an idiot as well. If you had Cohen on the field, wouldn’t you purposefully flare it to him all the time (Cohen doesn’t play that many snaps)? I, myself, could lead the NFL in passing this season if I had it snapped and I just flicked it to Cohen and let the defense try to stop him as he just ran circles around them and past them…versus Trubisky trying to throw downfield to Bill Bellamy, Orville Wright, Wil Wheaton, and Danny McBride as his WRs.
So much dynasty capital riding on the Bears GM to bring in an offensive minded, smart head coach to light up Trubisky and Cohen for years to come. If they promote Vic Fangio, I probably give up.
The odds the Bears ‘do the right thing’ in 2018 with what they bring in as their new regime…50-50. Which means Garoppolo is the better hold for dynasty even thought Trubisky is the Greek god of quarterbacking.
Snap Counts of Interest…
35 = Inman
30 = Bellamy
20 = Wright
16 = Cohen
01 = Wheaton
58 = Goodwin
42 = Murphy
31 = Taylor
25 = Bourne