49ers

How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looked on each preseason drive vs. Chiefs

How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looked on each preseason drive vs. Chiefs

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.

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.

Fewer snaps works out to more production for 49ers' rookie Deebo Samuel

Fewer snaps works out to more production for 49ers' rookie Deebo Samuel

SANTA CLARA – It was no reflection of what the 49ers think of rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel when coach Kyle Shanahan said after Week 1 he wanted him on the field for fewer plays.

Samuel played 59 of the 49ers’ 68 offensive snaps against Tampa Bay. He caught three passes for 17 yards.

In the 49ers’ 41-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Samuel played just 27 of the team’s 70 snaps. But his production increased significantly.

Samuel caught five of the seven passes quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw his way. The second-round draft pick from South Carolina accounted for 87 yards and a touchdown. Garoppolo likes what he has seen from the rookie.

“It’s moving in the right direction, especially when a guy ... he just has the right mindset on the field, you see it in the huddle, you see it in his eyes,” Garoppolo said. “The moment is not too big for him. So as a rookie, you’ve got to appreciate seeing that.

“He’s raw and has so much talent that we’ve got to bring out of him. He’s just moving in the right direction, so that’s the fun part.”

Samuel and Marquise Goodwin started the first two games for the 49ers. Dante Pettis and Goodwin shared the most playing time, with each playing 50 percent of the team’s snaps. Goodwin caught three passes for 77 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown. Pettis did not see a pass thrown his way, though he completed a 16-yard pass on a gadget play.

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Pettis got off to a slow start in training camp and Shanahan repeatedly challenged him to show more urgency and step up his game. The former second-round pick said he feels good about the direction he is moving.

“I think I’m pretty much there,” Pettis said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “It’s hard to tell, obviously, in the games, but I think in practices I’m not where I need to be, but I’m on my way.”

Why Justin Skule is thankful for 49ers O-line before first NFL start

Why Justin Skule is thankful for 49ers O-line before first NFL start

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers left tackle Justin Skule, who will take over for injured six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley at the position in Sunday’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, is just a rookie. But Skule already has a huge supporting cast to help him prepare. 

The 22-year-old is an unknown to most in the Niners fanbase. The rookie has quietly kept his head down since he was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the 49ers in April. Staley, who has vowed to help Skule adjust to his new responsibilities, has already made an impact on his replacement. 

“He’s been awesome since I’ve been here just taking me under his wing and giving me little tricks of the trade,” Skule said Wednesday of the veteran left tackle, who is out six to eight weeks after breaking his fibula in Week 2. “He’s done a phenomenal job just these past couple days giving me pointers just showing me how he goes through his process and everything like that. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.” 

Staley isn’t the only offensive lineman to offer Skule helpful advice. The rookie had to fill in for Staley in the 49ers' 41-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and Skule said Mike Person imparted some wisdom when the two shared the field at Paul Brown Stadium. 

“He’s like, ‘Take a deep breath it’s still just football,'" Skule recalled. "So, I think that’s something that I’m really going to focus on this week. It’s still the game of football. Just take a deep breath, and don’t let anything get too big for myself.” 

Skule apparently has taken that advice to heart during his first week of practice as the team's starter.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t notice the nerves that were brewing in his newly appointed left tackle. Garoppolo that Skule appeared unfazed when he first filled in for Staley and has been the same ever since. 

“He’s been very consistent,” Garoppolo said. “Smart guy, came into the huddle during the game, didn’t blink or anything. Just one of those guys, he does the right thing and he’s in the right spot. He’s been the same guy every day, and you’ve got to appreciate that.”

[RELATED: Chris Simms explains why unbeaten 49ers might be for real]

Thus far, Skule has taken it all in stride. Even with more than 20 media members surrounding him in front of his locker for the first time in his pro career, Skule seemed calm and deliberate. The rookie didn’t hesitate when answering any questions, and his replies seemed genuine. 

Still, Skule knows that even though he feels calm now, the nerves undoubtedly will come before his first start Sunday at Levi's Stadium. 

“No matter who you are replacing, you’re going to go in with some nerves,” Skule said. “Everyone has that competitive edge where you’re going to be nervous when you’re going in. The older guys and everyone in the huddle have just done a great job taking me under their wing and just making sure I’m good and relaxed and ready to go.”