If reports are true, barring a Super Bowl appearance the 49ers will trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason no matter how well he plays during the regular season.
Seems unfair, considering Garoppolo has played so efficiently the past month and has won three of his past four starts. But numbers can deceive, and in the 49ers most recent win Garoppolo arguably was the worst player on the offense. Even worse than Daniel Brunskill and Tom Compton.
Garoppolo is the only player who turned the ball over against Minnesota. And although his final statistics were respectable -- 230 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and a 90.3 passer rating -- the 49ers had to minimize his impact on the game to win it.
Garoppolo threw a pick on the 49ers' first series, and then Kyle Shanahan mostly took the game out of his hands. But before the pick, on the 49ers' second play and first pass of the game, Garoppolo showed all his limitations and validated all the 49ers' reasons for planning to replace him at the end of the season.
Here was the play:
It was 2nd and 6 from the 49ers 33 with 13:39 left in the first quarter. This play was in the 49ers' script, meaning it was something they practiced all week. It should have been executed perfectly. Instead, Garoppolo rolled to his right and fired an incomplete pass over Deebo Samuel's head.
No big deal, right? Quarterbacks miss throws all the time.
Problem is George Kittle was wide open down the field and Garoppolo threw into double coverage instead. Garoppolo clearly decided before the play started where he was going to throw, which is one big issue with him -- he predetermines way too many of his passes instead of simply scanning the field and reading the defense. This leads to interceptions. We would expect any NFL quarterback to see Kittle wide open and throw the ball to him.
But that wasn't Garoppolo's only mistake during that play.
As he stared down Samuel and ignored Kittle, Garoppolo stood flatfooted in the pocket like his feet were stuck in cement, then fired a quick, snap throw to Samuel using only his arm, and the ball sailed a few feet over Samuel's head.
That's another issue with Garoppolo. His footwork is awful and he doesn't use his lower body when he throws. This hurts both his velocity and his accuracy.
And this is why every 49ers game plan these days revolves around using Garoppolo as little as possible. He's a game manager who either predetermines his reads or attempts to scan the field while he hesitates with his feet glued to one spot.
Can't trust him. He's only as good as his running backs. Plus he's way too expensive.
Got to go.