Jimmy Garoppolo addresses theory that 49ers struggle after scripted plays

Jimmy G addresses idea of 49ers struggling after scripted plays originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers ended the first quarter of last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs in a good position, up 10-7 on the AFC powerhouse.

But, as has been the case in numerous matchups this season, San Francisco’s offense fell stagnant as the game wore on.

After practice Thursday, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo addressed whether or not that drop-off coincides with the 49ers reaching the end of their scripted plays to start the game.

“Everyone has their opinions,” Garoppolo said of the theory. “That’s not changing any time soon, and I wouldn’t expect it to. I don’t know, it’s hard to pinpoint one exact thing that this is the reason that we’re struggling, or this is the reason, whatever.

“I think it’s a combination of things.”

NFL teams tend to plan out their first dozen or so plays -- known as “openers” -- of a game, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan previously has stated he likes to script out 24 plays to start the game.

While those plays might not necessarily occur in order depending on the game flow, San Francisco’s offense seems to have started games this season in a better rhythm than they’ve ended with.

The 49ers rank in the top 10 in first-quarter points (No. 9) and also stack up well in first-half points (No. 11). But when it comes to second-half scoring, the team is ranked No. 26 in the NFL.

In Garoppolo’s eyes, it comes down to execution -- on or off the script.

“Script is nice and everything, it gets us off to a good start, but we just have to execute the plays,” Garoppolo said. “It’s about making plays out there, staying on the field on third down, being able to run the ball. I think all those things play a key.”

The 49ers will face an opponent they might know better than anyone in the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

San Francisco’s opening script certainly will be stuffed with plays that have helped it win its last seven regular-season matchups against the defending Super Bowl champions.

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Garoppolo’s top target, Deebo Samuel, has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, but this time around, Shanahan will have a fully prepared Christian McCaffrey in his arsenal.

If the 49ers can execute on offense like Garoppolo emphasized, there’s no reason their script of winning regular-season games against their NFC West rival can’t remain the same.

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