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Are the San Francisco 49ers better off with Jimmy Garoppolo?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance broke his ankle against the Seattle and will miss the rest of the year, which means Jimmy Garoppolo returns.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Santa Clara, California.   Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP
Thearon W. HendersonAFP

Jimmy Garoppolo is back under center for the San Francisco 49ers after Trey Lance went down with a season injury on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Garoppolo was the Niners quarterback for the last few seasons, but the Niners were planning on looking to towards the future with Lance. So is San Francisco better off with Garoppolo as their starter?

Lance out for the season with broken fibula and torn ligament

Watching Lance go down for the season was a devastating blow. The young quarterback finally got his chance after spending his rookie year on the bench waiting for his chance. Kyle Shanahan and the rest of management decided to give the keys to the car to Lance this offseason with the idea of potentially trading Garoppolo at some point this season.

The trouble with the decision is that the Niners still have a team that is capable of reaching the playoffs, and beyond. You don’t see contenders make a change at the quarterback position when they are in the midst of an era making deep runs in the playoffs too often.

Luckily for San Fran, Garoppolo stuck around through preseason and through the first week of the regular season, and when Lance went down the Niners had their back up locked and loaded.

Jimmy G stayed despite all the speculation

In 2020, Jimmy G took the Niners to the Super Bowl and had San Fran leading by 10 in the fourth quarter, before losing 31-20 to Kansas City. Last year the Niners were again up by 10 points in the fourth of the NFC Championship game but ended up losing to the Rams in the final seconds.

Luckily for San Fran, Garoppolo stuck around through preseason and through the first week of the season, and when Lance went down the Niners had their back up locked and loaded.

In the first game the of the season the Niners struggled to move the ball in a sloppy, rainy game in Chicago. Lance struggled at times in his debut and made a crucial mistake that led to the opening week loss to the Bears. There were murmurs in San Fran of the Niners needing to make an early change to their former QB1 of the last few years.

One passing and one rushing TD for Garoppolo in return

Shanahan stuck with Lance in Week 2, and it was more of the same for the Niners offense. They drove down the field on both of Lance’s drives but settled for a field goal on the opening possession before the young gunslinger broke his fibula on the next drive.

Garoppolo entered the game in relief of Lance and led the Niners to a comfortable win over the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t just the score that changed when Jimmy G came in, it looked like he brought a sense of calm and a confident swag to the team that was palpable as soon as he took the first snap.

You could see the Niners rallier around their QB the after Garoppolo punched in a quarterback sneak late in the fourth quarter to seal the game. The entire team surrounded their quarterback showing full support for the guy who got them to the NFC Championship last year.

Niners primed for playoffs?

Lance’s injury hurts San Francisco in the long term, because Garoppolo is not going to be around forever. But short term Garoppolo give the Niners the best chance to win right now.

Having Garoppolo on the sideline backing up Lance would have certainly created a distraction if the 49ers continued to lose and play poorly on the offensive end. If he didn’t get injured there was no guarantee Lance was going to make it the entirety of the season with Garoppolo sitting on the bench. Now Shanahan has had his hand forced and it could work out for the Niners, despite the unfortunate injury to Trey Lance.


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