The 49ers won their home opener on Sunday, but were very close to throwing the game away.
After seeing their 27-13 third quarter lead cut to just three points, Jimmy Garoppolo looked to throw a costly interception that was nearly returned to the house with 2:15 remaining. The play was ultimately called back due to a fortuitous defensive holding call away from the play, but the throw stood as the primary reason that Richard Sherman said the win ‘felt like a loss’ postgame.
— NFL France (@FirstDownFR) September 16, 2018
Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young joined Tolbert & Lund on Thursday to talk about Garoppolo’s performance and that play specifically, and pointed to an element of Garoppolo’s decision that worries him.
“There’s a little bit of a — and I saw this on Monday night with Mitch Trubusky — there’s a little roboticness. ‘I’ve studied the play, I know where the lines are, and so I know what I’m supposed to do, so I read it and I throw it.’ And then you’re like, well what about the context?
“When I see that happen, it tells me that the quarterback has lost the context. Things can get undercut especially deeper. Anytime you go over five yards, you go to 10-yard outs, 15-yard outs, you’ve got to super be careful. But the flat routes, the ones that are right there, you’re in charge of. You can run into a really quick, reactive, secondary guy that can comeback and undercut, but the flat route under-cut, that’s on you. You didn’t watch that, you didn’t check it out.
“That’s why I worry that Jimmy is just ‘Look I had the play, I made the read, and I threw it where I was supposed to.’ Well okay great. Like I’ve told you, doing your job in the NFL is going to kick field goals or worse. There’s art in everything that you do and it all has context, and that’s when I worry reactions like that, that are, I shouldn’t say robotic, formulaic. ‘I know the lines on the page, I did the read like I was supposed to, and now I’ve got a pick for the loss.’ That’s what you worry about, and I want to see that get better. That’s something I’m going to watch for very carefully, especially under the pressure of the last couple minutes of the game.
“This is his what ninth start? But he’s been trained so well, and I really believe he knows what he’s doing. He’s made some great throws, it’s just like you have to train yourself that ‘I have 35 throws, and I can’t miss one. I might make some incompletions, I might take some risks down the field,’ but some of these ones that are just commodities, we can’t lose games on those.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Young on Garoppolo start from 9:45.