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San Francisco 49ers need the best version of Jimmy Garoppolo if they are to upset the Green Bay Packers

Vincent Frank

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo started out on fire during Sunday’s NFC Wild Card outing against the Cowboys in Dallas.

He had San Francisco’s offense humming early on, taking a 10-0 lead through the first quarter. For Jimmy GQ, it sure looked like his late-game performance in a playoff-clinching win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18 carried over to Big D.

Unfortunately, the bad version of Garoppolo showed up when the game was on the line in the second half. This included throwing an absolutely horrible interception that gave Dallas some hope when the team was down 23-10 in the fourth quarter. Check it out.

That just can’t continue to happen. Inaccuracy on a intermediate pass to the outside. A potential game-changing turnover. Throwing high on timing routes. It’s been too common of a theme for Garoppolo during his 49ers career.

Despite San Francisco pulling off a dramatic 23-17 win in Big D and advancing to the NFC Divisional Playoffs, the team is going to need more from Garoppolo moving forward. That starts next weekend in the NFC Divisional Playoffs against likely NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

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San Francisco 49ers must rely on Jimmy Garoppolo against the Green Bay Packers

san francisco 49ers, jimmy garoppolo
Jan 16, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) calls a play at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Garoppolo’s final stat line Sunday against the Cowboys wasn’t great. He completed 16-of-25 passes for 172 yards without a touchdown while throwing that one interception.

Garoppolo also came up small when San Francisco was attempting to put the game away with a quarterback sneak late in the fourth quarter. He rushed the snap, leading to a false start penalty on left tackle Trent Williams. Luckily, the 49ers’ defense was able to hold Dallas following a punt. Head coach Kyle Shanahan even touched on it after San Francisco’s dramatic win.

This represents two of many mistakes Garoppolo made as his 49ers nearly blew a 16-point fourth quarter lead against the Cowboys.

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Heading to Green Bay to take on the top-seeded Packers in the divisional round, San Francisco can’t rely on the same mistakes that defined the Cowboys’ utterly humiliating performance on Sunday. This is to say, a franchise playoff record 14 penalties and some questionable play calls on that ill-fated final drive in which time ran out.

Green Bay was 13-4 during the regular season. It was a perfect 8-0 at home, outscoring its opponents by a combined 111 points in the process. Giving Rodgers and Co. an upper-hand by making multiple mistakes will only lead to a blowout loss for the 49ers and likely the end of Garoppolo’s tenure in the Bay.

Too often, it’s been a common theme for Garoppolo this season. Playing well at times, but struggling to limit mistakes.

The aforementioned win over Los Angeles in Week 18 was a prime example of this. Garoppolo threw two bad interceptions before stepping up big time late in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Over the course of his past three games, Sunday’s win included, Garoppolo has thrown five interceptions. Prior to that, he had tallied just four interceptions in his previous eight starts.

San Francisco needs that version of Jimmy Garoppolo heading to Green Bay if it wants to advance to the NFC Championship Game. If Sunday’s iteration of the quarterback shows up, it will be blowout city at Lambeau come next weekend.

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