Jimmy Garoppolo: The Italian Stallion strikes again; with grit and toughness to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a win over the Houston Texans on the road at NRG Stadium; 26 to 16.
Jimmy G and the Offense:
Garoppolo completed 20 of 34 passes for 334 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception while posting a final QBR of 67.6 and a 92.2 RTG. Jimmy G completed 60.6 percent of his passes while dealing with more pressure this week breathing down his neck in the form of pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney; all 6′ 5″, 270 lbs. of him. Garoppolo also netted 10.1 per pass play which was huge in this game. However, the offense only converted 2-11 on third down. But, unlike last week vs. the Chicago Bears 0-5 in the red zone, the 49ers did come away with touchdowns at least 50 percent of the time, going 2-4.
The offense totaled 416 yards of offense on 66 plays, and was able to generate 20 first downs while posting another high time in possession with 34:49 minutes (via ESPN.com). Field goal kicker Robbie Gould continues to be the most consistent player on the team connecting on 4 field goals; his 14th straight of the season.
Stats to know: Jimmy Garoppolo’s 627 passing yards in his first 2 starts are the most made by any 49ers’ quarterback in their first 2 starts since the merger in 1970. The 49ers accomplish their first back-to-back wins in the same season and on the road since 2014.
Jimmy G’s supporting cast came to play again this week on the road. For starters; Marquise Goodwin (6 catches, 106 yards today) has had the best two-game totals of his five-year career (14, 205) with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter (via Eric Branch of the SF Chronicle).
In the Niners Live pre-game article of the week: What Fans Should Expect from Jimmy Garoppolo vs. the Houston Texans, we said there would be two players in the mix (who Jimmy G would need to help pull out a win) outside of Goodwin and running back Carlos Hyde who had 78 yards on 14 rushes at 5.6 yards per rush and one touchdown that he was able to bounce outside at the goal line.
Those players were TE Garret Celek, who had 2 catches, 1 for a touchdown and the other being a 61-yard catch a career-long, and FB Kyle Juszczyk who had a career-high 64 receiving yards on 3 catches who also made a big impact in the game, especially on a 31-yard catch between two defenders.
Running back Matt Breida struggled in the run game with only 27 yards on 12 carries at 2.3 yards per rush. WR Kendrick Bourne continues to get playing time as he accounted for 2 catches for 29 yards on 2 targets. The 49ers’ offensive line allowed just 2 sacks but 9 QB hits against the Texans defense.
Final Grade – B+: Jimmy G struggled in the first quarter going: 3 of 7, 25 yards, INT. And at halftime, he was 10 of 18 for 169 yards with no TDs and one INT. His passer rating was 64.4. However, Jimmy G and the offense, when it was all said and done, bounced back by posting 416 yards of total offense and was able to get into the end zone twice. The offensive line did have holding penalties (Laken Tomlinson/Dan Kilgore) and illegal shifts/formations and false starts, but held their own against the Texans led by Clowney.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan had one of his better games at calling plays, game management, and his deployment of player personnel groupings on the field.
Reuben Foster and the Defense
Foster was his normal hard-hitting self while at the same time leading the team in tackles again this week with 8 tackles, 1 being solo and a tackle for loss. Dontae Johnson, who posted 7 tackles, all solo (6 of which came after giving up completed passes), got sent to the bench in favor of CB Greg Mabin. Johnson was getting his tail handed to him all game long by wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who had 11 catches for 149 yards and 2 TD’s. Aaron Lynch finally got to play, and posted 4 tackles, 2 being solo and a key fumble recovery. The 49ers’ defense was able to generate 7 QB hits and 3 sacks coming from K’Waun Williams, DeForest Buckner, and Eli Harold.
Free safety and 7th round gem Adrian Colbert had 3 solo tackles, 1 pass break up and a textbook hit to force a fumble on Hopkins. And in the box safety, Eric Reid made his presence felt with 4 tackles, 1 being solo and 1 tackle for a loss. DT Earl Mitchell had a key 4th down stop for a loss. Ahkello Witherspoon had 3 tackles, 2 being solo before he left the game with a knee injury. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday (via Matt Maiocco of NBCS).
Cassius Marsh, Solomon Thomas, and Tank Carradine all combined for 6 tackles while applying some disruptive pressure on the Texans QB’s Tom Savage and T.J. Yates. However, it was Elvis Dumervil and 1 of his 3 QB hits that knocked Savage out of the game.
Final Grade – B-: The defense held the Texans’ offense to 311 yards of total offense on 64 plays, 18 first downs, and 3-13 on 3rd down and 1-2 on 4th down. The Texans offense only had the ball for (25:11 time of possession). Lamar Miller, all 5′ 10″, 225 lbs. of him was held to just 53 yards on 17 carries. The running game all-in-all was held in check with under a 100 yards rushing (via NFL.com).
Tom Savage was 6 for 12 for 63 yards before he went out the game with concussion-like systems by a vicious hit from Dumervil. Yates came in and provided a spark by completing 14 of 26 for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. Yates also provided 31 yards on the ground. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh should have rolled coverage sooner on Hopkins who almost single-handedly won this game with 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks throwing him the ball.
Jimmy Garoppolo: The Italian Stallion strikes again; with grit and toughness
On November 15, 2017, Niners Live featured an article called: Why C.J. Beathard’s Grit and Toughness Will be a Hard Act to Follow. That act has now been followed up by who Niners Live now calls the “Italian Stallion” Jimmy Garoppolo; who was hit 9 times against the Texans and 5 times vs. the Bears.
Jimmy G continues to strike fear into the hearts of defenses and their coordinators. Jimmy G has not only proven to be Calm, Cool and Collected; with Deadly Accuracy, he has also shown grit and toughness while standing in the pocket until the very last second to throw and complete the ball with dead-on accuracy. Forty-Niner beat writer Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee also pointed this out as well as mentioning Jimmy G’s toughness in the pocket and his accuracy.
Jimmy G’s overall presence has been uplifting and inspiring for teammates ( fans included), so says Mr. Goodwin in his post-game interview (see video). Looking forward to Jimmy G’s matchup with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
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 .