What is the one thing that San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has that his opponent doesn't have in Super Bowl LIV? Experience. OK - let me explain...
No - Garoppolo has never played in a Super Bowl, much like Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. But unlike Mahomes, Garoppolo has had the opportunity to sit through the process leading up to and in the midst of a Super Bowl on multiple occasions.
During his three seasons in New England, the former second-round pick got the chance on two separate occasions to watch Tom Brady firsthand as he went about his routine during the playoffs, specifically the Super Bowl, where the 42-year-old QB has separated himself from the other greats to touch the gridiron one the history of the NFL. Though Garoppolo learned from Brady by observing rather than pestering the Patriot great with questions, he feels he has learned enough to go into Super Bowl LIV next week with the mindset of a six-time Super Bowl champion.
“Everyone says it should be like another game, but just the way that (Tom Brady) actually did it,” Garoppolo said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “Up close and personal, picking up everything I could and seeing how he went about his business, obviously it worked out the two times that I was there with him. I’ll try to transfer that over to my game.”
While taking on the mentality of Brady can certainly help leading up to the big game, Garoppolo will have to take on his own approach during the game that has helped his team make it this far in the playoffs. Because of an elite run game and defense, Garoppolo has taken on a game-manager role with San Francisco. While he doesn't need to throw the ball 25+ times a game, he is being asked to make several key throws during a game to keep the defense balanced and allow the 49ers' run game to flourish.
Against Kansas City, Garoppolo may be asked to do a bit more than he did in the NFC Championship game, though. Against the Packers, the 49ers' QB only had to throw eight passes. But against the Chiefs, who are quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes, Garoppolo will likely have to throw the football a bit more to try and keep up with the high-flying Kansas City offense. The former Patriot has shown an ability to throw the football often and with effectiveness, which was prevalent in the team's 48-49 win over the Saints in early December in which Garoppolo threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns. If he can show that same effectiveness in SBLIV, then San Francisco should come out as winners.