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Shanahan says Jimmy G's decision-making has been perfect

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Jimmy G throwing

SANTA CLARA — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ranks 32nd in the NFL in number of deep passes attempted through two games of the 2021 season.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not complaining.

He said Garoppolo has done exactly as he has been coached.

“I think Jimmy has played very well these last two games, and has gotten the ball exactly where it needs to be,” Shanahan said on 49ers Game Plan, which airs Friday at approximately 9 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He’s had two as good of games in a row as he’s had.”

Garoppolo attempted just two passes of 20 yards or more down the field in the 49ers’ victories at Detroit and Philadelphia, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of those attempts resulted in a 79-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel against the Lions. Garoppolo completed 39 of 55 pass attempts (70.9 percent) for 503 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in two games.

Shanahan said Garoppolo has been perfect with his decision-making.

“I don’t think he’s missed one down-the-field throw,” Shanahan said. “We have a lot of plays that go down the field, but there’s never a play that’s just called ‘Throw it down the field.’

“There’s a guy who’s going down the field; there’s usually a guy over the middle; and there’s usually a guy underneath. And (it’s) how is the defense playing it?”


Shanahan said the style of defense the Eagles played last week led the 49ers to throw more underneath and screen passes.

Philadelphia played as deep in pass coverage as any defense Shanahan said he has ever seen.

“I think Jimmy has been very aggressive, seeing it right, and making the right decisions,” Shanahan said.

In two games, Garoppolo targeted Samuel 20 times (15 catches for 182 yards) and tight end George Kittle nine times (eight receptions, 95 yards). Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has seen just two passes go his way. He has one catch for 6 yards.

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Like the depth of the passes, the intended receiver is also dictated by the coverage of the defense, Shanahan said.

“Every play has a guy who’s No. 1 in the progression,” Shanahan said. “So you’re trying to call a play to get that person the ball when you get the exact right coverage and they beat that. That happens 50 percent of the time. And when it doesn’t happen, you go to No. 2.”


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