Opposing teams brought plenty of heat at Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019. The 49ers quarterback faced the highest blitz rate of any signal-caller last season, per Pro Football Focus.
Garoppolo performed admirably in the face of that pressure, completing 66 percent of his passes and posting a 92.9 passer rating against the blitz compared to a 107.7 passer rating and 70-percent completion rate versus a normal rush.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson came in just behind Garoppolo at No. 2 on the list, and despite a higher passer rating than Garoppolo on blitzes (101.9), Wilson completed only 61 percent of his passes on those plays.
While Garoppolo wasn't perfect when facing the blitz, he did have some impressive performances against defenses that typically emphasize pressure on the QB. In the Week 13 slugfest in Baltimore, Jimmy G was blitzed on 84 percent of his dropbacks, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner. On a rain-soaked field with an aggressive Ravens defense coming at him, Garoppolo went 12-for-18 with 149 yards and a touchdown on plays when blitzed. He went 3-for-3 against normal rushes.
When the Cincinnati Bengals sent a defensive-back blitz at Jimmy G in Week 2, he knew exactly where to throw the football and allowed his skill players to forge a path to the end zone.
— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) September 18, 2019
He did have his negative moments against the rush, as the Kansas City Chiefs forced him into some miscues late in Super Bowl LIV, including this errant throw despite tight end George Kittle being wide open in the middle of the field.
2nd & 5 w/ lead. Jimmy G doesn't have time to get over to Kittle. Center & RG could have traded this off to LB blitzing. It's a perfect trigger blitz & even with 3/4 slide the adjustment easily could have been made. 49ers wasted 3 on 2. Even in slide it pays to stay square to LOS pic.twitter.com/fbwx1dbaMe
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) February 3, 2020
For a quarterback in his first full season as a starter, Garoppolo showed significant promise, but also plenty of room to grow. Teams likely will continue throwing plenty of pressure at Jimmy G in his second full year at the helm of coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, and the 27-year-old will have to continue improving that aspect of his game in order to keep the 49ers atop the NFC.
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49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo faced highest blitz rate, per Pro Football Focus originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area