1How much do the 49ers believe in Garoppolo?
How much do the Niners trust Jimmy Garoppolo as their franchise QB? His 31-14 record as their starter speaks volumes, but it’s also misleading. Garoppolo has functioned more as a game manager than as a franchise-elevating asset. His ceiling sits around a mid-range QB2, and his floor is precariously low with Lance still looming.
2Improved play when trailing
Job security is a major variable for 49er QBs. One big positive for Garoppolo is how he steps up when his team is down. Last year, he played his best football (statistically) operating from behind, culminating in a significantly higher QB rating than when he was tied or ahead. The same was true in 2019. His experience and poise under pressure might be his ticket to sustained job security.
3Deebo Samuel through the air vs. on the ground
Deebo Samuel’s usage — particularly in the passing game vs. the running game — will help dictate Garoppolo’s likely range of outcomes.
4X-factor No. 1: George Kittle
George Kittle has a history of elevating QBs and also of injuries. His health is a major X-factor.
5X-factor No. 2: 49ers’ defense
The Niners’ defense is another X-factor. This team ran the ball the fifth-most times in the league last year and passed it the fourth-fewest times. They can win on the ground and on the defensive end. If their defense somehow falters, Garoppolo will be tasked with doing more, leading to a fantasy spike.