SANTA CLARA -- One week ago, Jimmy Garoppolo looked like a completely different quarterback on the field.
In the 49ers' 24-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams, the franchise quarterback had a near perfect performance in the first half. Garoppolo ended the night completing 23 of his 33 attempts for 268 yards, three touchdowns which gave him a rating of 124.3.
Garoppolo said his confidence never wavered in last week’s loss. But another seven days of healing from a high ankle sprain and several good practices with his skill players influenced the quarterback's performance.
Coach Kyle Shanahan’s game plan also included several short passes to start the game. While neither would admit that it helped the quarterback’s confidence, there’s no doubt that it helped the entire offense get into a rhythm.
Garoppolo’s first drive included four short passes to three different receivers and two carries by Raheem Mostert.
“That’s part of our offense,” Garoppolo said. “When we’re at out best is when we can run the ball like that, and have the RPO’s off of it. When Kyle is mixing all that stuff up like that it makes it hard on defenses. It’s a pick your poison type of thing.”
The 49ers offensive line kept Garoppolo off of the Levi’s stadium turf all night not allowing a sack. Shanahan kept the plan balanced with 37 runs out of their 70 offensive plays. The pressure on Garoppolo was kept to a minimum and it showed on the field.
The much-criticized offensive line improved tremendously over it’s embarrassing performance in Week 5 and not only kept Garoppolo upright but created lanes to help the running backs' productivity.
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“I thought the O-line as a whole did a phenomenal job. The pockets were clean all night. There were a couple of third downs where I held the ball a little long and the coverage was good. They didn’t get near me, I didn’t get hit very much, felt great coming out of this game.
“When the O-line plays like that it sets the tone for our whole offense and they did it tonight.”