There’s been plenty to love about Jimmy Garoppolo’s debut with the 49ers this season.
He has that 3-0 record as a starting quarterback, with wins over the Bears, Texans and Titans. He has a quarterback rating of 98.0 and he’s completed 68.7 percent of his throws. At 26, Garoppolo could be among the most exciting quarterbacks to watch next season (and many more beyond 2018).
One thing that’s especially intriguing about the way he throws the ball is his accuracy. Even under pressure, Garoppolo has shown an ability to deliver the ball right where it needs to be. Over the past two weeks he’s received pressure on 42.7 percent of his dropbacks, according to the analytic website Pro Football Focus, yet has performed with great precision.
“Garoppolo has been excellent under pressure through his first three starts in San Francisco,” wrote PFF this week. “Garoppolo has put 76.3 percent of his pressured pass attempts in a catchable location, which would be the highest rate in the league by a significant margin if he had enough attempts to qualify, and no quarterback has had a higher percentage of positively graded throws under pressure this season (44.7 percent).”
Included in that ability is Garopplo’s skill at putting the ball just where receivers want it to be. As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee wrote, he hits “targets in stride,” which allows receivers such as Trent Taylor, Marquise Goodwin and tight end Garrett Celek to make big gains after the catch.
“Jimmy’s got a fastball,” Celek told Barrows. “He knows when to turn it up and when to turn it down. He’s got a nice touch.”
On Sunday, Garoppolo and the 49ers have a big challenge in the form of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have one of the best pass-rushing defenses in the NFL. The 4-10 49ers are set for a 1:05 p.m. kickoff against the 10-4 Jags at Levi’s Stadium. The Jaguars are listed as 4-point favorites.