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49ers' playoff hopes rest on Jimmy G, Steve Young says

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The 49ers enter Week 14 as the No. 7 (and final) seed in the NFC playoff picture.

And if they are going to make a run into the postseason, Jimmy Garoppolo must produce like one of the top players in the NFL, Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young believes.

“Watching the league this year, it seems nutty that there’s not a dominant team,” Young said on 49ers Talk.

“(But) there are dominant players. Aaron Rodgers is going to be tough to beat. You know Tom Brady is going to be tough to beat.

“The dominant quarterbacks today are more dominant than in the past.”

Young cited the rules changes in the game to promote more offense and protect players as the reasons why a sophisticated quarterback can be nearly unstoppable.

And that is why, if the 49ers are going to make any noise, Garoppolo has to elevate his level of play in the final stretch of the regular season and find consistency.

“If the 49ers are going to do it, Jimmy Garoppolo has to be a Pro Bowl player in December and January,” Young said. “That’s just a fact.

"And if he’s not a Pro Bowl player in December and January, they might be able to get through it, but it’ll be tough.”

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Young said there is a certain formula for the 49ers to give Garoppolo a better chance for success.

During the 49ers’ three-game win streak, the 49ers ran the ball with success. They did not turn the ball over, and the defense generated takeaways.


Garoppolo and the offense were able to convert third downs with a success rate of 50 percent. The 49ers were clicking in all areas.

Either Garoppolo rode the success of those around him or he helped set the tone with mistake-free play.

It really does not matter. Garoppolo played well. And the 49ers won games to get back into the NFC playoff picture.

“It kind of goes together,” Young said.

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