At one point early in the season, Jimmy Garoppolo had thrown for 7 TDs and 5 interceptions. Not heart warming numbers. Since then, he’s gone 19 and 6. Numbers almost exactly recorded by the QB in New England who’s had 20 and 6 for the entire year.
I was struck during last Sunday’s game watching Garoppolo drop back and look down the middle, to the left, to the right, back to the middle – continually scanning the field for his WRs to break free. After enduring five years of a previous QB who never progressed past one look, and one look only, it was a welcome sight.
Jimmy has grown noticeably as the season has played out. This is his sixth year in the league, but in some ways is basically his rookie season. The first full season he has played. Of course, his WRs have improved dramatically, too. This looks like a classic chicken or egg debate, but fortunately it doesn’t really matter to a Niner fan. The result has been good no matter how you wherefore and whatnot.
But just when you finally trust the defense to be impenetrable, they disappear in New Orleans. Are they going to show up for Atlanta, the Rams, the Seahawks? They’d better.
Atlanta seemed like a tough game when the schedule came out, then they stank it up for half a season, making this game seem like a breather. All of a sudden, in week ten, they go to New Orleans and stomp the Saints 26-7.
Ditto for the Rams, who didn’t impress anyone until two weeks ago when they suddenly rose up and slaughtered Arizona and then last week cruised over the Seahawks.
All of which makes these next two games a bit of a crapshoot. The Niners need to win one of them to nail down a playoff spot, which would also assure that the final game against the Seahawks would be for all the NFC West marbles and the top seed in the postseason.