SANTA CLARA — While the public opinion of Jimmy Garoppolo may be fluctuating, not all the blame can be placed on the 49ers' QB for San Francisco's last-second 30-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium.
The veteran signal-caller has had his ups and downs early in the season, including two straight slow starts against the Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. It is clear that the offense misses the presence of Raheem Mostert but they will need to figure out ways to spark the run game without him.
Garoppolo finished the night completing 25 of his 40 attempts for 257 yards, two touchdown passes, one interception and an 87.2 rating. He was sacked four times and struggled until the final drive of the first half when the offense put together an eight-play touchdown drive to get on the board before halftime.
Garoppolo and Co. got into a rhythm at the start of the second half. The 49ers came out of the locker room more energized, putting together a lengthy 13-play, 83-yard touchdown drive. While the offense has been productive, their lack of consistency is their Achilles' heel.
The 49ers' run game, their bread and butter, has been stunted. Trey Sermon and Kyle Juszczyk were the only backs that carried the ball and they accounted for 45 of the 67 total rushing yards for the night. Garoppolo knows the run game is an area of importance for the 49ers.
“It’s pretty important for us,” Garoppolo said. “Our offense that’s where it starts. If we can get those guys going it will make everything a little easier. I think Juice played a hell of a game. He was asked to do a lot of different things that he wasn’t used to.”
The low point for Garoppolo was not the interception that came on an impressive play by Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who sprinted across the field to snatch the ball just before it reached the hands of George Kittle. The bigger mistake came when Garoppolo threw a backward pass late in the fourth quarter that was ruled a fumble. The Packers recovered the ball and would kick a field goal to go up by six with less than three minutes to play.
“We were trying to run a screen pass, running back got caught up in the line a little bit,” Garoppolo said. “Got caught between throwing it, I was trying to throw it away and a guy hit my arm. Unfortunate call there by the ref for a fumble.”
Garoppolo now has a week to prepare for another tough opponent. The 49ers will face the rival Seattle Seahawks at 1:05 p.m. next Sunday.