Staley critical of Jimmy G's performance on third downs


It was certainly a night to forget for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers. 

After losing to the Indianapolis Colts 30-18 Sunday night, San Francisco has now lost four straight games. Garoppolo's performance (16-of-27 181 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, fumble) in what ended up being a wet and wild game at Levi's Stadium was rather underwhelming, and the veteran quarterback is receiving plenty of criticism. 

He is hearing it from the fans as well as former teammate Joe Staley, who played with Garoppolo for three seasons. 

"He came out, everybody knew exactly what they were going to go with," Staley said on "49ers Postgame Live". "They came out in the second and third drive and they were throwing the ball a little more on first and second down. Not having success and staying ahead of the chains. You got in third down situations much more consistently than you wanted to be, that were 3rd-and-long. 

"In a wet weather game like this, you want 3rd-and-2, 3rd-and-3 situation where you can possibly run the ball. Jimmy [Garoppolo] not being able to move the chains on third down. A quarterback is judged when everybody in the building knows you're going to throw the ball, and I don't want to hear an excuse about the weather, the Colts played in the exact same game. Jimmy has to be better on third downs."


Staley, who has tasked with protecting Garoppolo's blindside on the offensive line, knows the 49ers' QB as well as anybody. 

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The 49ers' offense had six three-and-out drives to go along with four total turnovers -- a recipe for offensive disaster. 

Turnovers aside, it was Garoppolo and the offense's inefficiency that led to many 3rd-and-longs. One of the few outliers was a very impressive three-play, 70-yard drive in which Garoppolo completed back-to-back-to-back passes of 29, 27 and 14 yards each. Garoppolo threw downfield on each pass, resulting in the best drive of the game for either team. 

More plays like the three on that drive, and the box score of this game might have looked different.