Once Jimmy Garoppolo's teammate, D.J. Reed and the Seattle Seahawks will be tasked with slowing down the resurgent 49ers quarterback on Sunday. Reed played 31 games for the 49ers over the 2018 and '19 seasons, before being claimed off waivers by Seattle in August 2020.
Reed has started 10 games for the Seahawks in 2021, totaling 54 tackles, five pass deflections and a fumble recovery. The cornerback spoke to the media on Thursday and gave his scouting report on defending Garoppolo and the 49ers' offense.
"Jimmy G from a personal standpoint, he's a good dude, he's a hard worker, he's probably one of the earliest guys in, one of the latest guys out. One of those guys, a blue-chip worker. He's very accurate, especially inside the hashes, so we have to do a good job covering that and he plays really good in this system, I believe, because of the run game and it sets up the play-action for him," Reed told reporters when asked to describe Garoppolo as a quarterback.
Garoppolo has stepped up quite a bit in recent weeks, after getting off to a slow start. After topping a 65 percent completion percentage just twice through his first six starts, Garoppolo has beaten that mark in each of the 49ers' last four games. Unsurprisingly, the 49ers are 3-1 over that stretch.
The 49ers' recaptured dominance in the ground game also has fueled this uptick that has the team back in the playoff picture. The 49ers amassed over 150 yards rushing just once in the first eight games, but have done so in each of the past three.
Time of possession (TOP) also has been a critical part of the 49ers' success of late. Over the last three weeks, only the Washington Football Team (38:53) has held the ball longer than the 49ers' 38:10 average TOP.
"Right now, they're playing really good ball," Reed said. "The last three or four games, they've been running the ball, their running back, he's really good. Offensive line is doing really good, Trent Williams is really good, the best lineman in the league right now for sure.
"That sets up the play-action, which is their bread and butter. Deebo Samuel is a baller, he's been playing really good. I'm happy for him because the only thing that's stopping him is injuries really, like when Deebo is healthy, he's a really great player."
Samuel will not suit up in Week 13 as he battles a groin issue, a big loss considering he has been one of the NFL's most prolific receivers this season.
Reed and the Seahawks are all but eliminated from playoff contention, but still could put a significant dent into the 49ers' postseason aspirations with a victory at Lumen Field.
The 49ers own the sixth seed in the NFC, but stand just a game behind the Los Angeles Rams for the fifth spot, and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over their division rivals.
We'll see how well Reed and the Seahawks have prepared for Garoppolo and the 49ers on Sunday.