Garcia explains what Jimmy G must work on after 49ers' loss


Was this just one week and early season rust? Or was Jimmy Garoppolo's showing in the 49ers' 24-20 Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals concerning?

Jeff Garcia has the answer.

"It is from the standpoint when you miss certain opportunities in a game that you can't miss on," the former 49ers QB and current analyst said on NBC Sports Bay Area's "3-Step Drop." "When you're gonna be the starting quarterback in the National Football League, you have to hit those throws.

"You have to make those mistakes by the defense count for your offense." 

Garoppolo completed 19 of 33 pass attempts for 259 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 103.0 passer rating and didn't turn over the ball. But 76 yards came from a Raheem Mostert catch-and-run touchdown, and another 41 came from a pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. 

The 49ers QB missed critical passes down the stretch, and a high pass to George Kittle resulted in a sprained knee for the star tight end. Garcia saw Garoppolo lacking confidence far too often in the loss. 

"There were a couple times in the pocket he seemed unsure of himself," Garcia said. "He seemed a little shaky, he did a couple circles one time -- it was like, what's goin' on here.

"I think he needs to find a way to be more aggressive as a quarterback. He likes to sit back, he gets flat-footed. I think he needs to be able to go through his progression quicker. Understand that if I'm not getting to my checkdown, I better find a lane to run to push up in the pocket or I better get rid of the ball outside and throw it away in a safe spot. Don't just throw it up for grabs.


"There were a couple of times where the ball was just thrown up there."

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Granted, this was the first game after an odd offseason and no preseason games. Garoppolo also was without his top two receivers, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. It appears Aiyuk is on pace to make his NFL debut this Sunday against the New York Jets. 

Garoppolo must be better in Week 2, but things should get easier against the lowly Jets and first-round draft pick being available certainly helps.

Programming note: Watch Jeff Garcia give more great insights and analysis on “49ers Pregame Live” this Sunday at 9 a.m. PT.