Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start with the 49ers was highlighted by the on-field rapport he demonstrated with receivers Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor.
Garoppolo targeted Goodwin eight times and connected each time for a total of 99 yards. On passes intended for Taylor, a slot receiver, Garoppolo was 6-for-6 for 92 yards, including five successful third-down conversions.
“That’s what you look forward to, especially on third down when guys who can separate versus man-to-man and when they catch it they turn it up the field and move the chains,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s been an important role throughout the league, something that we’ve always had on our team.
“You can win with size or speed on the outside. On the inside, I think you have to win with quickness, whether it’s a slot receiver, whether it’s a tight end, whether it’s a running back. Those are usually the three areas you get those types of routes from.”
Garoppolo found Taylor the most-crucial time in the game, finding him across the middle for a 33-yard gain on a third-and-9 play to lead up to the two-minute warning. The play helped set up Robbie Gould for the game-winning field goal with :04 remaining.
“I think Trent’s a very talented player,” Garoppolo said. “Very young. He’s still learning things. But having guys in New England who are very similar to him, I think it’s going to help us acclimate to one another. Him acclimate to me and me do the same to him. He has a savviness for the game that’s rare in a young guy like that.”
Taylor, a fifth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech, has 32 receptions for 331 yards on the season. Goodwin was signed as a free agent after four pedestrian seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He has already put together his best NFL season with 35 catches for a team-leading 677 yards.
“He scares people with his speed. No doubt about it. The guy’s a legit,” Garoppolo said of Goodwin. “I don’t know what his hundred (time) is but it’s fast. It takes the top off defenses and makes them think about that. It allows him to run some different types of routes. But he’s an all-around good receiver for us.”