Part of the quarterback gig is taking the blame for losses even when they might not necessarily be your fault.
Tom Brady's three Super Bowl losses all came down to the New England Patriots defense's inability to get a stop. But those losses still go on Brady's ledger. Jimmy Garoppolo is getting a crash course in that this offseason as people continue to lay the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs at his feet.
Richard Sherman thinks that's absurd.
"It's just barber shop talk. It's just something to have a topic. It's just foolish," Sherman said on KNBR's "Murph and Mac Show." "... When you hear them blaming Jimmy, Jimmy doesn't play defense. We had a 10-point lead. We get the guy a stop, we win the game."
Sherman took the blame for letting Sammy Watkins get loose for a 38-yard gain when the 49ers were holding a 20-17 lead. Damien Williams scored shortly after and the Chiefs never relinquished the lead.
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Sure enough, the 49ers' defense, which dominated the first three-and-a-half quarters of the Super Bowl, fell apart in the fourth as the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points in a final flurry to win 31-20.
But Garoppolo isn't without blame. While his play was good in the middle quarters in Miami, he went just 3 for 11 for 36 yards and an interception good enough for a passer rating of ... 2.8. He also missed a wide-open Emmanuel Sanders on what would have been the go-ahead score with 1:49 remaining. The 49ers turned the ball over on downs when Garoppolo was sacked on the ensuing play and that was all she wrote.
All season, the 49ers were led by their vaunted defense. But when it was money time, Sherman, Nick Bosa and Co. were unable to get off the field as hurricane Patrick Mahomes stormed through them and delivered a title to Kansas City.
"Jimmy played fine. He did what he was supposed to do," Sherman said. "We got to finish that game out. I got to finish that game out. I got to do what I'm supposed to do. I'm an All-Pro player, I got to play All-Pro down the stretch.
"I think, along with other leaders on the team, we would defend him vigorously because that had nothing to do with him."
Garoppolo had a solid season overall in his first full year as a starter. He threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while completing 69.1 percent of his passes and compiling a passer rating of 102.0.
The 49ers will look to for their franchise quarterback to take a leap in 2020. But even if his stats improve, Garoppolo will be judged, as all quarterbacks are, on what he does in winning time.