Jimmy Garoppolo wanted a win an Oscar last Sunday in New England.
During the first quarter of the 49ers' 33-6 win over the Patriots, Garoppolo was picked off by Devin McCourty. While McCourty was returning the interception, Garoppolo was touched by linebacker Chase Winovich and the 49ers quarterback embellished just a touch to draw a 15-yard illegal block penalty.
Winovich got chewed out by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the play and the second-year player wasn't a fan of Garoppolo's acting job.
“That’s between us, so we’re going to leave that on the field,” Winovich told 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Yolak and Bertrand" (h/t NESN.com). “Yeah, (Garoppolo) obviously did flop, though. He admitted he flopped. I’m not saying that was the conversation on the field. … The play was especially bad because when (McCourty) intercepted it, where I was standing, like -- obviously the guy that intercepted it was to the right. And so I’m like, ‘OK, I’m going to go block the most logical guy that could actually make a play,’ because he started sprinting to the sideline. In my head, I’m like, ‘OK, he’s going to go seal it off.’ But, of course, he cut across the field and ended up on the other side.
“And so now all of a sudden, it looked like you have this poor old quarterback that’s running for his life and you got this mean bully viking warrior, just chasing him down and hucking him from behind.”
Belichick, no doubt, had some appreciation for Garoppolo's willingness to look like a fool in order to draw a flag.
The penalty, in the end, didn't matter as the 49ers delivered the Patriots the biggest home loss of the Belichick era.
Winovich and the Patriots now are 2-4 and head to Buffalo to face the division-leading Bills, while
Matt Damon Garoppolo and the 49ers have a crucial showdown with the Seahawks in Seattle.
The second-year linebacker is sure to be smart about blocking quarterbacks from now on. And, who knows, maybe Garoppolo can give him some in-person pointers in the not too distant future.