If Jimmy Garoppolo had hit Emmanuel Sanders on a deep pass with less two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV, we might be talking about the 49ers' quarterback as the MVP of the game.
Instead, Garoppolo overshot Sanders by five yards and the 49ers went on to lose to the Chiefs, 31-20.
The missed opportunity, combined with Garoppolo's subpar play throughout the entire game, gave national pundits plenty of meat to chew on.
During Monday's episode of "High Noon" on ESPN, hosts Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre had a heated discussion about Garoppolo. Jones has been a vocal critic of Jimmy G, while Torre believes in the quarterback. So when Torre tried to shift blame from Garoppolo to head coach Kyle Shanahan, Jones responded with this:
"You're going to get out here every week riding with this dude when the only thing you really know about him is that he's handsome," Jones said. "And you're going to ride this all the way out. And then when the time comes you think you're somehow going to take the joy away from me from looking at you and saying 'Everything I told you all season long as to why they wouldn't win a Super Bowl with that dude happened in that game.' And guess what? He looked like that same dude all the way through the playoffs. He didn't come in here and show you anything new. This is what he was. In fact, he might have played better in this game than in any other game in the playoffs and Kyle Shanahan was there to watch all of that. Kyle Shanahan had all that film and Kyle Shanahan still put the game into that dude's hands at a time where he did not have to. So, who gets the blame? The answer is all of them get the blame."
This is the MOST THOROUGH "I told you so" of all time 😳 pic.twitter.com/kf93jjRoWU— HIGH NOON (@HIGHNOONonESPN) February 3, 2020
When Torre said that Garoppolo was still young and has room to improve, Jones snapped back and this exchange followed:
Jones: "Are you trying to talk about the future of him?"
Torre: "Of course, because he has started as many games as Sam Darnold has."
Torre: "He is not a finished product yet. Jimmy Garoppolo can still get better."
Jones: "Are you serious? Are you really trying to talk about this dude like he's 22 years old and fresh-faced and everything else? How long has he been in the league? It's not like he just got here from college. How long has he been in the league? He has been in situations to develop and to improve and this is as good as he is right now because the dude is just not that good. Sometimes there's a reason a dude gets drafted in the third round. Sometimes there's a reason a dude winds up being a backup for all that time, right? Because of someone really saw a first-class take-over-your-franchise kind of guy, you can trade that and get more back than a second-round pick. Look man, they are a quarterback away from being able to win a Super Bowl."
[RELATED: Frank Clark blasts Jimmy G]
That's some harsh criticism from Jones. In fairness to Garoppolo, he did lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. But he didn't play well, so it gives credibility to Jones' argument.
That leaves Garoppolo with only one thing to do: Get back to the Super Bowl with the 49ers and win it so he can prove Jones wrong.