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San Francisco 49ers

49ers Film Room: QB Jimmy Garoppolo using athleticism to recover from mistakes

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49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo
© Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Can new franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo solve the San Francisco 49ers’ third-down efficiency problems? In this segment, we break down how Garoppolo uses his athleticism to recover from mistakes.

 

This is the fifth installment in a series analyzing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s success on third downs. You can check out the first four here:

1. 49ers film room: Garoppolo’s success on third downs
2. 49ers film room: Garoppolo’s pre-snap adjustments
3. 49ers film room: Garoppolo’s pre-snap reads
4. 49ers film room: Garoppolo extending plays

The following play will test Garoppolo’s ability to use his athleticism to recover from a mistake, extend the play, and then connect with a receiver who finds a hole in the defense.

The Patriots have a third-and-nine from Miami’s 36-yard line. New England is in 11 personnel, with Garoppolo in the shotgun. The Patriots have wide receivers Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan lined up on the wide side of the field, and running back James White and receiver Malcolm Mitchell on the short side, along with tight end Martellus Bennett.

The Miami Dolphins are in nickel personnel, with two safeties lined up 12 yards from the line of scrimmage. With Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi slow to shift to the sideline to cover White, Miami is more likely playing Cover-2 than 2-Man:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo first motions White into the backfield, and then motions Edelman behind Hogan just as the ball is snapped. The Patriots — expecting that the Dolphins are playing Cover-2 — are running a smash concept variation with the two receivers; if inside corner Bobby McCain stays underneath and doesn’t follow Edelman, outside corner Byron Maxwell will be caught vertically between Hogan’s curl route and Edelman’s corner route. On the opposite side, Mitchell will try to get outside of cornerback Xavien Howard as he works his way down the field, forcing Howard to either follow him — opening up the flat for White — or let him go — giving Mitchell the open sideline:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The Dolphins are indeed playing Cover-2, but with their boundary corners sinking deep, just beyond the first-down marker:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo takes the snap, and looks to his left to his first read. Miami has Edelman’s corner route covered, with McCain redirecting Edelman to the outside, Howard sinking back, and safety Isa Abdul-Quddus heading toward the sideline. Garoppolo sees that Hogan is initially open on the curl, but as he waits for Howard to commit, the quarterback begins to drift to his left:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

By the time Garoppolo is ready to make the pass, he has defensive end Jason Jones in his face, swiping for the ball:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

As Garoppolo ducks away from Jones, he runs right into defensive end Cameron Wake, who tries to take the quarterback down. Garoppolo sidesteps Wake, and immediately looks downfield for a target beyond the sticks. Bennett looks for the dumpoff, ignoring linebacker Kiko Alonso, who makes a beeline for the scrambling quarterback.

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo finds Mitchell, who has worked his way open in front of safety Reshad Jones. Garoppolo throws across his body with accuracy, just before he’s hit by Alonso:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo puts the ball where only his receiver can catch it, and the Patriots have a 14-yard completion for a first down:

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

An inexperienced quarterback is expected to make mistakes. Here, Garoppolo uses his athleticism to recover from his mistake — keeps his eyes downfield — and then completes the pass for a first down:

Now that we have some film on Jimmy Garoppolo in a San Francisco 49ers’ uniform, we’ll next take a look at the quarterback’s performance in Week 12.

Chris Wilson is the Lead Writer for Locked on 49ers - part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You may have seen Chris Wilson’s work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at FanSided, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, ClutchPoints, Insidethe49 and others. Follow Chris Wilson on Twitter @cgawilson.

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San Francisco 49ers

PODCAST: Weekly Wink, Trade Rumors

Brian Peacock

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https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/lockedonnfl?selected=LKN1790036475
  • Guest: Nick Winkler
  • Jalen Ramsey trade rumors intensify
  • Is it worth spending on offensive tackle Trent Williams?
  • Could young star safety Jamal Adams hit the trade market?
  • 49ers primed for a 3-0 start

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San Francisco 49ers

PODCAST: 49ers-Steelers Crossover

Brian Peacock

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© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • Guests: Tony Serino and Christopher Carter of Locked On Steelers
  • What to expect from second-year QB Mason Rudolph, who is starting in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger
  • How new Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick fits in
  • Predictions

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San Francisco 49ers

49ers vs. Bengals: San Francisco Week 2 Game Balls & Highlights

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49ers Bengals Week 2 Game Balls Highlights
© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Game balls and highlights from the San Francisco 49ers’ 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 of the 2019 NFL regular season.

On yesterday’s Locked On 49ers Podcast, host Brian Peacock provided a rundown of the Niners’ game — including game notes and key takeaways — and handed out four game balls to the San Francisco 49ers from their Week 2 blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 49ers made a statement to the rest of the league during their second consecutive road victory to start the 2019 NFL regular season. Outside of a long garbage-time touchdown given up in the final minute of the matchup, the 49ers’ defense was dominant, finishing the game with four sacks, nine tackles-for-loss and one interception.

But despite holding the Bengals to just 25 yards on 19 rushing attempts, San Francisco’s offensive unit shined the brightest in Week 2 — which brings us to our first game ball:

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan

San Francisco’s offensive attack was nearly unstoppable in Week 2, and much of their success should be credited to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who called one of his best games since arriving in the Bay Area over two seasons ago. The Niners tallied 572 net yards on offense at an 8.4 yards-per-play clip, and were forced to punt the ball just once during meaningful play, prior to the final two minutes of the game.

Shanahan — the 49ers’ de facto offensive coordinator — was always one step ahead of the Bengals’ defense, which was constantly confused by the Niners’ flurry of misdirection plays. With Cincinnati’s defenders forced to play both passively and reactionary, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took advantage by throwing for 297 passing yards and three scores. Garoppolo executed on the field, but he had Shanahan’s superb game plan to thank for his FexEx Air Passer of the Week nomination, as well as his 131.2 passer rating and his 11.9 yards-per-pass-attempt — both of which were tops in the NFL in Week 2.

 

49ers RB Matt Breida

Prior to the beginning of the regular season, many analysts wrote 49ers running back Matt Breida off as either a potential change-of-pace option in San Francisco’s backfield or a player who would simply ride the bench in 2019. But just two games into the season, Breida has officially put that talk to rest by claiming his well-deserved spot at the top of the 49ers’ running back depth chart, even after fellow RB Tevin Coleman eventually returns from injury.

Breida was electric on Sunday as he tallied 121 rushing yards on only 12 carries, and added 11 yards through the air on one reception. The former undrafted free agent may never be a 25-carry feature back, but it’s hard to ignore a runner who averages over 10 yards-per-touch. Breida’s outstanding Week 2 performance was  highlighted by a 34-yard gain on a third-and-short run, where he looked a lot more like Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders than a bench player who should be relegated to the sidelines:

 

49ers Offensive Line

Although Breida has the speed and agility necessary to break off long runs after making defenders miss, he surely didn’t mind running through some of the gaping holes the 49ers’ offensive line provided on Sunday. Breida wasn’t the only beneficiary of San Francisco’s big men up front, as the 49ers’ trio of running backs graded out as the NFL’s top unit of the week by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Recent practice-squad RB Jeff Wilson found the end zone for a pair of scores in the contest, and dual-threat running back Raheem Mostert followed his blockers on long runs and screen passes en route to a spot on PFF’s “NFL Team of the Week” for Week 2:

It was a near-perfect day for the Niners’ offensive line, as they also kept Garoppolo’s jersey clean for the vast majority of the game. But a dark cloud fell over the group in the third quarter of the team’s Week 2 victory, when left tackle Joe Staley sustained a fractured left fibula which will keep the 49ers’ top lineman out of action for approximately six to eight weeks.

 

49ers LB Kwon Alexander

Last week, linebacker Kwon Alexander received a game ball from Shanahan in the 49ers’ locker room after the team’s 31-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite his early exit from his Niners debut. Alexander was ejected from the contest when his helmet made contact with the helmet of former teammate Jameis Winston, when the quarterback awkwardly went to the ground at the end of a third-down scramble. In the limited time prior to his questionable ejection, Alexander looked like the player Shanahan and general manager John Lynch hoped to sign, as the 25-year-old linebacker flew around the field making plays and hyping up his teammates.

Last Sunday, Alexander earned his 49ers game ball for his leadership in the locker room and his passion for the game. This Sunday, Alexander earned Locked On 49ers game ball for his leadership in the locker room, his passion for the game and his production on the field. Alexander not only brought the same level of intensity to Cincinnati, but the linebacker was also one of the best — and most productive — players on the field in Week 2. With a key interception, three defended passes and six tackles, Alexander earned PFF “NFL Team of the Week” honors, and our final game ball of the week:

 

Listen to Locked On 49ers host Brian Peacock’s review of the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 2 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals — including game notes and key takeaways from the Niners’ second matchup of the 2019 NFL regular season — on yesterday’s Rapid React podcast:

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