It will take a long, long time for people to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrow of Emmanuel Sanders in the 49ers' loss in Super Bowl LIV. The Faithful might never get over it.
Here's the irony: Garoppolo was the most accurate QB in the entire NFL on passes 20 yards or more last season.
Highest completion rate on throws beyond 20+ yards last season— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 26, 2020
1. Jimmy Garoppolo - 61%
2. Patrick Mahomes - 51%
3. Gardner Minshew - 49%
4. Drew Brees - 48% pic.twitter.com/8X0uA2gjcS
The 49ers quarterback topped Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes, Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Gardner Minshew and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. Pro Football Focus used a 30-pass attempt minimum for their leaderboard, and Garoppolo was 19 of 31 on these passes. Mahomes was 32 of 63, Minshew 24 of 49 and Brees 15 of 31.
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Kyle Shanahan's offense is built around deception and play-action passes, but this certainly is an encouraging sign for Garoppolo taking the next step. San Francisco still will be based around its rotation of running backs, getting George Kittle the ball in space and using Deebo Samuel to the best of his versatile skill set.
The 49ers' late Super Bowl collapse proved how quickly a game can change when your QB has the ability to air it out like Mahomes can. Garoppolo needs to do the same more often in 2020, if possible. This offense has to be able to take the top off the defense.
Perhaps rookie Brandon Aiyuk is the solution. The former Arizona State star burned defenses on go routes in the Pac-12 and Shanahan will take advantage of that. His route tree isn't too advanced yet, but he should be able to press a defense from Day 1.
Shanahan always will be able to out-scheme most defenses. Using Garoppolo's accuracy down the field more often should only take the 49ers to the next level in 2020.