KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming off a rough debut earlier in the week, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw his most action of the preseason Saturday night against the Chiefs.
Garoppolo completed 1 of 6 passes for zero yards Monday night against the Denver Broncos. It was his first game since he sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 3 of last season against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Garoppolo fared much better in his return to Arrowhead, in what is expected to be his final game action before the start of the regular season. His pass protection was improved, and he looked much more comfortable in the pocket, completing 14 of 20 passes in the first half for 188 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. His passer rating was 116.2.
Garoppolo played the entire first half, taking 37 snaps. Nick Mullens replaced him under center at the beginning of the third quarter.
Here’s a drive-by-drive look at how Garoppolo performed:
Fifth series: Setting up another short field goal
Garoppolo ran a successful two-minute drill, moving the 49ers 43 yards on seven plays in 1:11 to set up Robbie Gould for a 34-yard field goal before the end of the half. The 49ers took a 13-0 lead.
Garoppolo completed an 11-yard pass to running back Matt Breida, then found tight end Ross Dwelley on back-to-back plays for 23 yards and 7 yards. He made an ill-advised throw to the goal line into triple coverage for Dante Pettis. Cornerback Rashad Fenton broke it up.
On third and 3, Garoppolo threw to Tevin Coleman for 2 yards. He was stopped at the sideline just shy of the first down to set up Gould’s field goal.
Fourth series: Drive stalls on breakup
After running plays by Coleman and Matt Breida combined to net a first down, Garoppolo hit consecutive pass completions for first downs, too.
Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel with a play in the deep middle for 21 yards. Then, he flipped a short pass on a rollout to his right to Dante Pettis, who turned it into a 13-yard gain. He also hit fullback Kyle Juszczyk on a short pass for 4 yards.
But the drive stalled when Garoppolo’s pass for Dwelley on third and 3 was broken up by Kansas City safety Daniel Sorensen. Garoppolo’s throw was slightly behind Dwelley, but he should have held onto the ball. Garoppolo went 3-for-4 for 38 yards on the drive.
Gould hit a 29-yard field goal to cap the drive.
Third series: Three-and-out
The 49ers’ pass protection broke down on a third-and-3 play on which left tackle Joe Staley was beaten by former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark for a sack. On first down, Garoppolo threw high to Dwelley, who got both hands on the ball but could not make the catch.
Second series: On point
Garoppolo made two nice throws to set up and then score the team’s first touchdown of the game. He lofted a 20-yard pass to Matt Breida, who lined up in the slot and made a diving grab before safety Juan Thornhill could get there.
On the previous play, Garoppolo hit Richie James on a 33-yard pass against the tight coverage of cornerback Rashad Breeland, who had his back turned.
Here’s that Richie James double move. Easy speed. Nice ball by Jimmy G to let him run under it. pic.twitter.com/nuMcSkDQfh— Kyle Posey (@KP_Show) August 25, 2019
On the opening set of downs, Garoppolo hit Samuel with a quick slant for 6 yards. On third and 8, he floated a pass to Dante Pettis on an out pattern for 16 yards and a first down.
Garoppolo went 4-for-4 for 75 yards on the drive. The 49ers put together a seven-play, 78-yard drive that lasted 4 minutes, 11 seconds. The touchdown tied the game at 7-7.
First series: 50 percent accuracy
Garoppolo’s first pass, under pressure from unblocked Chiefs pass-rusher Reggie Ragland, was intended near the line of scrimmage for Dante Pettis but broken up by Breeland.
On third and 7, Garoppolo and Pettis were not on the same page. Garoppolo threw inside, while Pettis remained outside. But the drive continued due to a defensive holding penalty away from the ball.
On second and 10 from the 30, Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne over the middle. Bourne picked up 18 yards and a first down.
After Garoppolo fluttered a second-down pass incomplete for Marquise Goodwin, he went back to Goodwin and hit him with a tight spiral for a 9-yard gain on a third-and-6 play.
Juszczyk caught a swing pass from Garoppolo, made the first defender miss, and picked up 5 yards. On third and 2, Tevin Coleman was stopped for a 1-yard gain. On fourth down, Garoppolo’s pass was batted down by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Garoppolo finished the first series, completing three of six pass attempts for 32 yards. His passer rating after one drive is 66.0.