San Francisco 49ers franchise quarterback Trey Lance fractured his ankle while playing against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 18, heartbreakingly ending the game and the season for the second-year signal caller. Former 49er starter and current backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, trotted onto the field with a smile big as can be to finish the game for the 22-year-old Lance.
The New England Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers midway through the 2017 season and took over as the starter through last season, taking the 49ers to two NFC championship games and a Super Bowl during those five years.
Despite the team’s success during his tenure, Garoppolo’s play has been subpar, costing the team valuable wins and forcing management to trade three first-round picks to draft Lance in 2021. His inability to play football well has sacrificed the Bay Area a Super Bowl, and Lance’s injury means he will continue to disappoint 49ers fans for the remainder of the season.
The 49ers are an extremely talented team, playing seven members of the NFL Top 100. These members include offensive tackle Trent Williams, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, defensive end Nick Bosa, linebacker Fred Warner, safety Jimmie Ward and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The developments of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and safety Talanoa Hufanga have also been very promising for the Bay Area football team.
Despite the talent on the 49ers’ roster, simply playing Garoppolo will be detrimental to the team. He has single handedly lost games in the past, and all signs point to him continuing to do so.
Garoppolo and the 49ers lost to the Denver Broncos 11 to 10 in his first game returning as starter.
Snapping the ball on the 49ers’ own second yard line, Garoppolo scrambled to the sideline, only to throw an interception that was run back for a touchdown. But, he also turned and sprinted through the endzone and out of bounds before the throw, gifting the Broncos two points and the ball.
The safety canceled out the interception, but the 49ers still only lost by one point. The quarterback’s mistake fixed his other mistake, yet still cost the team the game. Garoppolo is so bad at football that his inability to play well somehow made him better.
Garoppolo’s limitations have resulted in even bigger losses for the 49ers in the past.
In 2020, doubt surrounding his skillset trickled in, after the 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers entered the fourth quarter up 20 to 10 and managed to keep it that way until the Kansas City Chiefs scored three unanswered touchdowns in the last six minutes and 13 seconds of the game.
Garoppolo looked solid until the fourth quarter, where he threw for a mere 36 yards, only completing three passes out of 11 attempts. He also added an interception and took a sack on a fourth down during the quarter.
Garoppolo has negatively affected the franchise off of the field, as well. The 49ers were supposed to trade the quarterback during this past offseason in order to move onto Lance, but Garoppolo elected to have shoulder surgery, preventing the deal from finishing.
There was a deal in place to send the Eastern Illinois alum to the Washington Commanders, which fell apart after reports of the procedure came out. This forced the 49ers to retain Garoppolo and his $26.96 million salary. As a result, the team was unable to bring back valuable starting guard Laken Tomlinson and almost lost Samuel because of contract disputes.
Garoppolo’s lack of ability has wasted a 49ers’ Super Bowl opportunity, and his offseason decisions have forced the franchise to make compromised personnel changes, leaving the roster weaker than it potentially could have been. With Lance out for the year, Garoppolo will continue to disappoint the 49ers and their fans, with no hope to be seen until next season.
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