© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
That was not the best Jimmy Garoppolo has looked. Maybe it’s an early season thing. Maybe it was the lack of fans. Maybe he just hasn’t improved. Whatever it is, Garoppolo was dismal, irrespective of the limited options he had. He didn’t trust his interior offensive line which was actually solid in pass protection (as evidenced by Garoppolo sacking himself), and failed to go through his progressions. When his receivers did create separation, Garoppolo didn’t find them.
His final drive typified the worst of Garoppolo, with an underthrow of Kendrick Bourne wasting a relatively straightforward chance to win the game, and another underthrow to Trent Taylor on 4th and 5 effectively ending the game. For a man who didn’t throw an interception (he did, it just got called back due to defensive pass interference), it was an uninspiring display.
Asked whether those two passes were “bad,” Shanahan confirmed the obvious.
“I mean, yeah, they weren’t perfect passes,” Shanahan said. [Bourne] did get by him, you guys all saw it. It would’ve been nice I think if Bourne would’ve gone up for it, I think he would’ve got the PI. So, that’s something he’ll learn from that because he did get him. It didn’t look like [Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson] Pat was going to be able to get to it, but I think it ended up hitting his hand. I think if Bourne jumps up and goes for it, we’ll end up getting the PI. Then the one to Trent, their timing was a little bit off on it. He did a little extra move at the top and Jimmy hesitated just a little bit and tried to recover with his arm and left a little bit behind him. So, just got to get better there with throwing and catching.”
Surprisingly, Shanahan said the receivers “did pretty good” at separating, but didn’t get chances due to the Cardinals’ coverages and the 49ers’ game plan, which aimed to limit targets to receivers.
While Bourne and Taylor could have made a play on the ball (at least in theory), Shanahan acknowledged they were very difficult opportunities.
“The ball was underthrown a little bit,” Shanahan said. ” Balls are underthrown all the time. You don’t always hit guys perfectly in stride. You under throw a ball and it makes it not perfect, so the receivers got to go and make a play and they didn’t. There’s nothing more to it. It’s pretty simple. He underthrew it just a hair on both of them and guys still had chances, but that would’ve been a real good play if they made it.”