Recently on Niners Live, we featured our hit article of the week: What Fans Should Expect from Jimmy Garoppolo vs. the Chicago Bears. Now we highlight and break down the game from an objective perspective and bring the Faithful an added bonus: Jimmy Garoppolo: Calm, Cool and Collected; with Deadly Accuracy.
The San Francisco 49ers lead by new starting quarterback “Mr. GQ” himself Jimmy Garoppolo (see the video of post-game interview) went on the road to take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field and left victorious with a final score of 15 to 14.
Jimmy G and the Offense:
Garoppolo completed 26 of 37 passes for 293 yards, 0 TD’s and 1 interception while posting a final QBR of 66.7 and an 82.4 RTG. Jimmy G’s interception came on a pass intended for Louis Murphy, who was stripped by cornerback Kyle Fuller. Jimmy G was calm, cool and collected while displaying deadly accuracy from inside and outside the pocket. Jimmy G completed 70.3 % of his passes within crucial parts and times of the game, in particular, 3rd down where the 49ers were an astonishing 10-18, the most since 2007. Garoppolo also netted 7.9 per pass play which was huge in this game. The offense totaled 388 yards of offense on 73 plays, and was able to generate 23 first downs while posting a season high in time of possession with 38:47 minutes (via ESPN.com).
The 49ers’ offense managed 110 yards rushing, but went 0-5 in the red zone as they only came away with 5 field goals by Mr. Perfect on the day Robbie Gould; who had a sweet game-winning field goal in his return to the windy city.
Jimmy G’s supporting cast came to play and they showed up in a major way on the road. For starters; Marquise Goodwin had career highs in catches with 8, on 8 targets with no dropped balls to go with 99 receiving yards (third highest of his career) at 12.4 yards per catch. Not to be outdone, “Mr. third down/big clutch catch” himself waiting to happen, Trent Taylor, finished with 6 catches on 6 targets for 92 yards (both career highs) and no drops for a 15.3 average per catch.
Carlos Hyde had a tough day toting the rock with 17 carries for 54 yards at 3.2 yards per rush. Hyde chipped in 3 catches for 12 yards with an occasional dropped ball. Matt Breida faired a little better average-wise, but not much, as he posted 45 yards on 12 carries at 3.8 yards per rush.
Kyle Juszczyk had 3 catches for 20 yards and had 1 rush for 3 yards that was on a crucial third-down play that he converted for a first down.
The offensive line only gave up 5 QB hits and 2 sacks on the day. For the most part, Jimmy G had a clean pocket to work with most of the day. The injury to Bears’ young promising pass-rusher Leonard Floyd, who wasn’t available for this game, indeed, stood out.
Final Grade- C+: Offense overall didn’t score a touchdown going 0-5 in the red zone against a depleted Bears’ defense that also lost Floyd’s back up during the game who started at outside LB (4 sacks on the year) Pernell McPhee. The running game was non-existent. And the 49ers were also flagged several times for illegal blocks in the back and holding that helped generate 8 penalties for 53 yards.
Reuben Foster and the Defense
Foster was his normal hard-hitting self while at the same time leading the team in tackles with 7 solo tackles total. Defensive back’s Eric Reid , Adrian Colbert and K’Waun Williams all pitched in 11 total tackles combined from the secondary as they held the Bears’ receiving corps pretty much in check the whole game outside of the touchdown catch by WR Dontrelle Inman.
Elvis Dumervil and Cassius Marsh posted the only sacks on Mitchell Trubisky in the game with one each. The following players also flashed on the screen: Sheldon Day, Eli Harold and Solomon Thomas, who combined for 7 tackles and some applied pressure on Trubisky while being strong at the point of attack against Jordan Howard and helping to hold the running back to 38 yards on 13 carries at 2.9 yards per rush.
Important to note: Not one Bears’ pass catcher had at least 40 yards receiving in the entire game, in fact, the starting WR’s and TE who were; Kendall Wright, Inman, and Dion Sims all combined for 5 catches for 51 yards. Ahkello Witherspoon and Dontae Johnson had 2 tackles total and basically had the day off. It simply doesn’t get any easier than that… Niners Live side note: DeForest Buckner didn’t show up on the stat sheet; he had zero tackles and sacks in the game.
Final Grade – A: The defense held the Bears’ offense to 147 yards of total offense on 36 plays, the fewest they’d surrendered since 2012, and giving up just 8 first downs for the first time since 2010. Trubisky was held in check with just 102 yards passing and Howard to the tune of 2.9 yards per rush as aforementioned. The 49ers didn’t force any turnovers, but did hold the Bears to 21:13 in time of possession and held this offense to just 7 points. The other half of the final points by the Bears came on special teams with a punt return of 61 yards for a touchdown by Tarik Cohen.
My closing thoughts on the game:
The Bears are now a 3 and 9 team that has lost 5 games in a row and is the worst team in their division and one of the worst in the NFL. And much like the 49ers, they are rebuilding and going through the injury bug. Now, having said that, a win is a win, and it’s a step in the right direction by this team as a whole and this franchise. It’s just one start under his belt in a 49ers’ uniform, but a major positive to take from this game was Jimmy G showed a calm, cool and collected demeanor while showcasing his pinpoint accuracy and ball placement under pressure. He marched his team down the field several times for opportunities to put points on the board when the team needed his leadership the most ala…he delivered…Garoppolo led a 14 play, 86-yard drive to set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning FG. Jimmy G so far has been as advertised/the eyeball test of a franchise quarterback in a snapshot of one game that was against the Bears and his post-game interview; Tom Brady clone in the making?
So what grade do I give Jimmy G? The 49ers went 0-5 in the red zone and failed to score a touchdown. And the ball was behind Murphy on the interception which Jimmy G threw into triple coverage. Grade B+
Interested to see how head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh build on this win and performance as they travel on the road again to face the Houston Texans. The Texans have a better talent level and personnel to match up against the 49ers, unlike the Bears, but a winnable game, none the less.
Do I hear a 2 game winning streak? You’ll have to wait and see our Niners Live pre-game article coming soon…
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Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course. Often imitated, but never duplicated.
All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims