Jimmy Garoppolo's play in Week 1 left many shaking their heads and O.J. Simpson was one of them.
The former NFL running back took to Twitter on Monday to give his takeaways from Week 1 of the NFL season, and he was less than pleased with Garoppolo's play during the 49ers' final drive when the quarterback missed an open Kendrick Bourne on what should have been the game-winning touchdown and then threw late and behind an open Trent Taylor on fourth-and-5 from the Arizona Cardinals' 16-yard line.
“I love my 49ers but Jimmy G, I don’t know what’s going on with you," Simpson said. "I’ve just gotten over you missing [Emmanuel] Sanders for what should have been a Super Bowl-winning catch, but I watch you in the fourth quarter. Come on, you had a guy wide open in the end zone. You’re late with the pass. The last play of the game, the guy’s open on an out. You’re late with the pass.
“I’m watching these defenders celebrate like they did something, and they didn’t do nothing. It was you being late with the pass.”
By the numbers, Garoppolo had a fine game in the 49ers' 24-20 loss at Levi's Stadium. He went 19-for-33 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. But 76 of those yards came on a touchdown pass to Raheem Mostert that saw the running back rack up 71 yards after the catch. Garoppolo went 8-for-17 for 89 yards in the second half, 41 of which came on one pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Garoppolo's footwork was shoddy and his pocket presence lacking. He held onto the ball too long and missed a number of open throws.
The 49ers spent all offseason hearing questions about Garoppolo's ability to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Coach Kyle Shanahan said his quarterback needed to be better and he expected him to make the necessary improvements.
The Week 1 returns weren't great for Garoppolo. Shanahan can no longer hide his quarterback in his run-centric attack. If the ground game isn't working, Garoppolo has to be able to make the necessary plays to deliver a win.
He couldn't do that against the Cardinals, which led Simpson to think about something former 49ers coach Bill Walsh used to say about Steve DeBerg.
“I remember Bill Walsh my last year with the Niners, his first year. He said something to me about a quarterback we had,” Simpson said, not naming the signal-caller. “He said ‘He’s great for three quarters, then he’s just good enough in the fourth quarter to get you beat.’ I’m just saying.”
Garoppolo will look to bounce back in Week 2 when the 49ers face the lowly New York Jets.