Jimmy Garoppolo quieted the restless 49er masses Saturday night in Kansas City, turning in a solid performance while playing the entire first half. He was a bit ragged on the first drive, then settled down and threw some beautiful passes. And one into triple coverage in the end zone that was luckily not intercepted.
Nick Mullens played the second half, which seems to mean that CJ Beathard will take the first half in the final exhibition game, with rookie Wilton Speight finishing things up before getting cut and maybe signed to the Practice Squad.
In a surprising development, Jimmie Ward played most of the game and did NOT get injured! Nobody else did, either. That hasn’t happened a whole lot in recent seasons.
The fans in Kansas City showed the world vividly why nobody much cares for living there. They clearly have nothing else to do with their lives. This was a preseason game, yet the stands were full of rabidly rooting nut jobs, like the game was really important. For a team that hasn’t won a Super Bowl since January 11, 1970, you’d think there would be some healthy skepticism and even apathy in their middle American hearts. But, no, they are undaunted by 50 years of failure. Nice place to be if you’re a player, though.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Kansas City. Heck, I’ve driven through it at least three times on my way somewhere else. I once saw the Yankees play the Athletics there, before Charlie Finley moved the team to Oakland. A guy nearby was so drunk by the 8th inning he decided to hop onto the field and run out to shake hands with Mickey Mantle. He didn’t make it, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he did. They took Mantle out of the lineup the previous inning.
Back to the 49ers. The third exhibition game is generally considered the tune-up-for-the-season game and in that regard the Niners did well. They look ready to prove to the world they belong with the big boys in the league. We’ll see in a couple of weeks.