Jimmy Garoppolo's confidence grows as 49ers' balanced offense does

Jimmy Garoppolo's confidence grows as 49ers' balanced offense does

CINCINNATI -- Jimmy Garoppolo’s three touchdown passes weren't the only part of Sunday's game building the 49ers quarterback’s confidence.

An effective game plan and better execution helped the 49ers put up 572 yards of offense in a 41-17 win over the Bengals, with Garoppolo completing 17 of 25 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. What didn't show up on the stat sheet, however, were little things such as Garoppolo stepping up into the pocket and taking a hit just as he got the ball away for a completion.

That’s what happened in the first play of the third quarter, as Garoppolo dropped back and, with the pocket closing, delivered a deep ball to rookie receiver Deebo Samuel for 39 yards. It was the start of a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that gave the 49ers a 21-point lead.

Garoppolo explained that it’s a good way for him to build confidence in his surgically repaired knee.

“Yeah, it’s good to get hit, I guess,” Garoppolo said. “It sounds weird to say, but yeah.”

Garoppolo added that just getting more snaps and being able to find a rhythm over the last two games also has helped.

“I think it’s just moving in the right direction,” Gaoprpolo said. “Each game, you try to improve, keep getting better, each practice, same way. So I think it’s coming along, and there’s still things to clean up -- stupid interception today -- but a lot of positives came out of it.”

Garoppolo avoided injury on a head-first, third-down dive midway through the first quarter. Any sort of scramble without an injury also can be seen as a confidence-booster after Garoppolo's season-ending scramble in Week 3 last year.

The QB didn't slide on that 2018 play, and he explained why he didn’t on Sunday's, either.

"I knew it was third down," Garoppolo said. "Kind of looked at the marker, so I was running, and I thought I had to go head first. When you go feet first, they usually mark you a little short, so I didn’t want to risk that. It was good."

[RELATED: Jeff Garcia's take on Jimmy G's performance]

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan believes that not only more snaps but a balanced game, where the team is successful rushing the ball, will help Garoppolo’s confidence rise. Sunday's game plan included moving the ball on the ground to reduce the pressure on Garoppolo to throw, and the 49ers delivered with 259 yards on 42 carries -- a 6.2-yard average. 

"Everybody knows the ability Jimmy has, and he's shown it," Shanahan said. "It’s not just about a guy with talent. It's a guy who has talent [and] who has played in games and shown everyone he can play at a high level. The more he’s out there, I truly believe the better he will get, even when he does make mistakes, as long as he learns from them."

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle ruled out for rematch vs. Cardinals

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle ruled out for rematch vs. Cardinals

Whatever mystery there was surrounding George Kittle's health status for the 49ers' Week 11  game against the Cardinals has now been solved.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported late Saturday night that San Francisco's All-Pro tight end will not play Sunday against Arizona, citing a source.

The aforementioned mystery was some of the 49ers' own doing. After Kittle was listed as day-to-day at the beginning of the week, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan told Cardinals reporters on Thursday that Kittle would not play Sunday, only to have the organization walk those comments back hours later. 

Kittle sat out the 49ers' Week 10 loss to the Seahawks. He originally was injured on San Francisco's first offensive play in the Week 9 win in Arizona, but still managed to catch six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in that 28-25 victory. Kittle leads all 49ers' pass-catchers in receptions (46), receiving yards (541), yards after the catch (300) and first downs (28).

[RELATED: 49ers-Cardinals predictions: SF should win despite injuries]

Ross Dwelley is expected to start in Kittle's place at tight end against the Cardinals on Sunday. While Shanahan and the 49ers have confidence in Dwelley, there's no question San Francisco's offense will be negatively impacted by Kittle's absence.

49ers-Cardinals odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 11 game


49ers-Cardinals odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 11 game

Everything hasn't been coming up roses for the 49ers in the last week thanks to some injuries and an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The team will face the Cardinals for the second time in three weeks in Week 11. After failing to sack Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray in the first meeting, Nick Bosa will try to do better the second time around.

Murray has been sacked 31 times, which ranks as the third-most in the league. San Francisco, on the other hand, ranks second in the NFL in total sacks (35) and yards allowed per game (251.6).

Here is how NFL writers across the league see the 49ers-Cardinals game shaking out:


Caesars: SF -480
Consensus: SF -500
Westgate: SF -550
Wynn: SF -550

[RELATED: How to watch 49ers-Cardinals Week 11 game online, on TV]


Josh Weinfuss, ESPN: 49ers 31, Cardinals 20
Nick Wagoner, ESPN: 49ers 27, Cardinals 17
Michael David Smith, PFT: 49ers 16, Cardinals 13
Michael Florio, PFT: 49ers 34, Cardinals 21