Week One has been and gone and can I just say, how great is it to have football back in our lives? The long offseason is over and to make things even better we have fans back in the stadiums. All that was next was to get the players out on the field. Other than Andy Dalton in Chicago, no player had as big a target on their back as Jimmy Garoppolo for the San Francisco 49ers.
Trey Lance is in San Francisco and he is poised to take over. Throughout pre-season, he looked ready to suit up and lead the Niners into the regular season. Unfortunately for him, Garoppolo knows how to run Kyle Shanahan’s offense and has had some success at it. Don’t get me wrong, Lance will take over but it might not be as quick as the fans want. Garoppolo had to get off to a quick start in 2021 to keep the doubters at bay so how did Week One go?
In Week One the San Francisco 49ers traveled to Detroit to take on the new-look Lions. A new head coach and a new quarterback and a new way of life have the Lions ready to compete in 2021. Yes, it’s a rebuilding year but they can still be competitive right? The first drive for both teams can only be described as nervy at best. Quite frankly, a nightmare start for Garoppolo when he has the young Trey Lance just waiting to pounce on him like he is a gazelle in the wild.
After Detroit turned the ball over on downs it was time for Garoppolo to cement his place as the starter. On the very first offensive snap of the new season, Garoppolo fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Detroit Lions. Not exactly ideal when the eyes of the NFL world are on you. Trey Lance must have been jumping up off the bench thinking now was his time.
San Francisco got the ball back after a missed field goal and it wasn’t quite Trey Lance time. Garoppolo came back in and lead his team down the field to the five-yard line. All of a sudden it WAS Trey Lance time. In stepped the new Quarterback and he found Trent Sherfield in the end zone for a score. So, on Garoppolo’s first snap he fumbled the ball to the opposition, and on Lance’s, he threw a perfect touchdown pass. A sign of things to come perhaps?
Trey Lance will have to wait a while yet. After his rocky start, Garoppolo came out and led the Niners’ offense on two touchdown drives, a field goal, and then a further touchdown drive later in the game. His offense put up 41 points and despite a bit of a wobble from the defense, they managed to hold on and get the win.
Garoppolo was rightly named the starter and despite the early fumble he proved why he should the starter. He finished the game with 17 completions from 25 attempts for 314 yards and a touchdown pass. Not only that he showed he is more than capable of throwing the deep ball. On passes of more than 10 air yards, Garoppolo went six out of seven for 200 yards and a score. Still some life in the old dog yet.
Since Shanahan came in, the 49ers’ have excelled at the play-action game and Garoppolo is still the best at executing it. When he does decide to throw the ball he has a solid connection with not only George Kittle but also Deebo Samuel, which was on display in the win. Samuel finished with 189 yards and a score. If Garoppolo can continue to play like this then he will remain the starter for the entirety of the 2021 season and rightly so.
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