DETROIT — Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back from an injury-riddled 2020 with a solid performance in the 49ers' 41-33 season-opening win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field.
While it might not have started out as the most sensational performance from the 49ers' starting quarterback, it was enough to pull out the win. Nerves got the best of Garoppolo on the first snap of the game with a botched exchange that resulted in a turnover. Things got better from there.
Garoppolo ended the day completing 17 of his 25 attempts for 314 yards, one touchdown and a 124.2 rating. The quarterback’s best play of the day was a 79-yard score on a deep pass to Deebo Samuel down the right sideline.
Samuel was one-on-one, looked for the ball, adjusted and ran the ball in for a score. Garoppolo just wanted to give his receiver a shot.
“I tried to back shoulder him a little bit,” Garoppolo said. “I got hit pretty good on it so I didn’t really see it, but it was kind of funny, me and Trent [Williams] were getting up from the pile and the next thing we know Deebo was crossing the goal line. It worked out pretty well. I’m excited to see it.”
After being unable to play the entire 2020 season due to a high ankle sprain, Garoppolo shared how enjoyable it was to be on the field again, even though the end of the game wasn’t quite ideal.
“I thought it was good,” Garoppolo said. “It was good to get out there. Obviously not the way you wanted to finish it, but we were rolling as an offense for a minute there. We got into a pretty good groove. We were rolling pretty good. We’ve just got to find a way to finish a little better, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.”
Kyle Shanahan did mix things up a little bit as he had done during the preseason, subbing in Trey Lance for a few plays. The veteran was ready for the move and returned to the lineup without any issues or a loss of momentum.
“I thought it went pretty smooth,” Garoppolo said. “I thought it was pretty smooth. The idea coming into it, how it was all going to work and everything—we’re all in this together. If we win, we’re happy with it.”