The 49ers' dominant 33-6 win over the New England Patriots was the perfect homecoming for Jimmy Garoppolo.
In the week leading up to the game, much was made of the franchise quarterback returning to face the team that drafted him. Garoppolo kept his true emotions under wraps and gave a solid performance, completing 20 of his 25 attempts for 277 yards.
Garoppolo threw two interceptions, but one was on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. Without any touchdown passes, the quarterback’s final rating was 79.5, but all the 28-year-old quarterback cared about was the win.
Little did Garoppolo know it was the worst home loss for the Patriots in the Bill Belichick era.
“I obviously wanted to come in here and get a win but to me, it didn’t matter if we won by one or if we won by 100,” Garoppolo said. “It was just go and get the win. That was the mindset we had this week, same thing we had last week. Got to keep that mindset the rest of the season.”
The 49ers were the underdogs headed into the game. Hroniss Grasu was stepping in at center after Ben Garland went on injured reserve with a calf injury. There were questions if the communication that was finally cleaned up after the loss to the Miami Dolphins would again disappear.
Raheem Mostert, who was a key piece to the 49ers' win over the Rams, had also been placed on injured reserve. Jeff Wilson Jr. was questionable all week with his own calf injury, yet the offense didn’t skip a beat.
Garoppolo gave credit to his offensive line, who he said set the tone, and his running backs, who carried the ball 37 times for 197 yards. After the game, the quarterback was seen receiving the “victory chain” that is often worn by the stand-out player of the game.
Garoppolo refrained from wearing it in his postgame press conference, admitting he gave it to the entire running backs group.
“I gave the victory chain to the running backs,” Garoppolo said. “Those guys earned it tonight. All of them they were playing their ass off, running hard setting the tone, getting those extra dirty yards that is the staple of our team.”
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Through his entire media session, Garoppolo’s smile never faded. After all, he had the storybook ending that everyone wants when they perform in front of their former mentors.
“It was a cool week,” Garoppolo said. “Just a lot of emotions, a lot of memories, especially coming back here seeing the same stadium, hearing the same songs that they used to play. A lot of memories came back. A lot of emotions out there but it was a fun night.
“I couldn’t imagine it going any better than this.”