Last Sunday, Trey Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury against the Seahawks, most likely one of the worst outcomes the 49ers could have anticipated.
In came Jimmy Garoppolo, who offered a serviceable effort to help the team get the first win of the season. As expected though, all anybody could chatter about was Lance’s injury. After all, Lance is the future of the franchise whether you like it or not. For months, lofty expectations, hype videos, and countless articles were thrust on the media world, expressing excitement for the new starter… but in seconds, each one of those had zero purpose to them. So with that being said, it’s back to Jimmy G time. I’ll be going over the pros and cons of keeping him.
The pros: Let’s be honest, a solid majority of the fanbase was on the Trey Train. But now, the fans must revert back to rooting for the quarterback they so desperately despise. Fortunately, Garoppolo should be a suitable backup, as he was already an average starter. Garoppolo went 13/21, 154 yards, with two total touchdowns. Overall, a pretty solid performance, but also versus a bad Seattle team. Garoppolo did a fair job at making the correct read and if he can continue this trend, the 49ers may be OK this year. After all, Garoppolo will not be the main catalyst who leads this team to wins, that’s on the defense. If the 49ers want to win now, which they do, the defense will have to continue its trend of dominance, present a solid run game, and Garoppolo will have to be the ultimate game manager.
The cons: I’ll start off with something obvious then I will revert to some speculation/theory. Firstly, the obvious. Jimmy Garoppolo will NOT win you football games. The argument that Garoppolo is a “winner” is utterly disgusting, considering that he has played in a friendly system with a top-tier defense. Sure, Garoppolo plays a role in winning those games, but he is not the primary reason. So far, the defense looks amazing, but what happens if the defense begins to go through some obstacles? Do you trust Garoppolo to put the team on his back? I sure as hell have my doubts about that. Now to move to speculation. It’s obvious that Garoppolo wants to be the starter, hell every quarterback wants that. My worry is that Garoppolo may try to do too much, in hopes that he can prove himself. I’m fairly confident in the sentiment that you should take what the defense gives you… we all know what happens when Garoppolo tries to do too much. If you want evidence, go look at last year's NFC Championship game, then come back to me.
To sum it up, this decision has a high floor and a low ceiling. Truth be told, Garoppolo will most likely be average and that’s what this team needs. Unfortunately, he may not be good enough to lead this team on his back when it matters most.