The San Francisco 49ers are just a different team when Jimmy Garoppolo’s behind center.
With a dominating 41-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, the Niners are now 8-2 when their franchise quarterback starts, and continued the trend of being one of the highest scoring teams in the league when Garoppolo takes the snaps.
Just how good has it been?
Well, in his 10 starts, the 49ers have scored 289 points, which equals out to 28.9 per game. Last season, only three teams (Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints) had higher averages.
In Garoppolo’s last seven starts, he’s helped lead his team to 30 points or more five times, including 40-plus twice. To put that into perspective, since the start of the 2014 season, the 49ers scored 30 points or more just seven times in the 72 games started by other quarterbacks. They hadn’t hit 40 since Week 8 of the 2013 season.
Obviously, teams can’t score points unless they move the ball, and Kyle Shanahan has seen his offense be prolific in that regard with Garoppolo as well. The Jimmy G led attack averages 395.5 yards per game, which would equal out to 6,328 yards over a full season. Only four teams had more yards than that in 2018.
When looking at his direct competition, Garoppolo has outdueled other 49ers’ quarterbacks by a large margin. The team’s 28.9 points per game average with Garoppolo is a full touchdown better than with Nick Mullens (21.1) and considerably more than with C.J. Beathard (17.4) and Brian Hoyer (18.6).
As far as yards per game, a Mullens led offense was competitive to Garoppolo’s 395.5 YPG, posting a total of 372.8 per contest. However, it averaged far less when Beathard (331.8) and Hoyer (321.1) were the starters.
Something else that hasn’t been talked about enough is the fact that seven of Garoppolo’s 10 starts with the 49ers have come on the road, with the team posting a mark of 5-2. That’s significant when you consider that the team has won seven road games total since 2015, with all other San Francisco quarterbacks posting a mark of 2-25. Mullens, Beathard and Hoyer are a combined 0-11 on the road under Shanahan.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, and if Garoppolo can continue to have the same impact throughout a full 16-game slate. It’s impossible to deny what he’s done to this point though, and what he means overall to the fortunes of the 49ers.