Garoppolo Looks Terrific in First Start to Lead 49ers to Win

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 10) looks downfield Sunday while leading the 49ers to a victory over the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Well, that looked pretty good.

New starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo performed a miracle — in 2017 49ers terms — driving his team to a 15-14 victory over the Bears in Chicago Sunday.

Down 14-12 with 5:27 remaining and the ball on their own 7-yard line, San Francisco was looking at yet another loss and its record falling to 1-11.

Instead, Garoppolo drove the team efficiently downfield to set up a Robbie Gould 24-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give the Niners the victory.

The win may not be good for the 49ers’ prospects of nailing down the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, but it was brilliant for the morale of the team and fans looking for signs that general manager John Lynch and first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan know what they’re doing.

And, in getting Garoppolo, it appears from start No. 1 that they may have acquired the franchise quarterback they’ve been looking for.

Garoppolo completed 26-of-37 passes for 293 yards with an interception, and he spread the ball around, making good use of wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (eight catches, 99 yards) and rookie Trent Taylor (six for 92). He completed throws to eight different receivers in all. He was sacked twice but also escaped often, picking up eight yards on four scrambles.

Wrote Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee: “In his first 49ers start Garappolo looked exactly like the 49ers hoped he would – comfortable in the pocket, slippery out of it and able to zip passes into tight spaces.”

The 49ers offense was more efficient than it has been all season. Coming into the game the team had converted just 34.1 percent of its third downs into first downs. Against the Bears (now 3-9), the 49ers converted 10-of-18 (56 percent). San Francisco outgained the Bears 388 yards to 147.

Carlos Hyde (54 yards) and Matt Breida (45) picked up some yards rushing to help out.

Defensively, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster led the team with seven tackles.

The 49ers will try to get win No. 3 this coming Sunday in Houston against the Texans.