Last week’s story that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw five straight interceptions in practice was an oddity, kind of funny, but nothing all that serious.
It seemed more serious after watching Garoppolo struggle in a big way against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
Garoppolo, playing his first game since tearing his ACL last season, misfired on his first five passes before completing a screen pass for no gain. He threw one interception and a sure pick-six was dropped. His final rating was 0.0.
He looked bothered by the rush and simply not sharp. San Francisco’s offensive line, which couldn’t keep the heat off Garoppolo, didn’t help.
It’s one short stint in a preseason game, and he hadn’t played in 11 months, but it was troubling.
Jimmy Garoppolo has 0 yards in return
Here were Garoppolo’s first five passes: Tipped at the line, intercepted on a wild throw under pressure, tipped at the line, dropped interception and an inaccurate pass that went wide and incomplete.
The Broncos defense, with new coach Vic Fangio, had a lot to do with Garoppolo’s issues. Denver generated pressure on practically every snap. Bradley Chubb came free on an inside stunt and Garoppolo rushed his throw. Isaac Yiadom picked it off.
The near pick-six might have been worse. Chubb got pressure again, cornerback De’Vante Bausby jumped the route and had Garoppolo’s pass in his arms with nothing but open field in front of him. He dropped it, saving an embarrassing highlight for Garoppolo.
A screen pass to Matt Breida for no gain was at least a completion. It snapped an 0-for-5 start. And after that, Garoppolo’s night was done.
Not a great start for Garoppolo
One bad preseason quarter doesn’t mean Garoppolo won’t have a fine season. He showed his talent with the Patriots and again with the 49ers at the end of the 2017 season.
A better outing in the 49ers’ third preseason game might not be that bad though. Garoppolo and the rest of the 49ers’ starters are unlikely to play in the fourth preseason game. The team and Garoppolo would presumably like to have momentum before the regular season starts.
There will be better days for Garoppolo in his return from ACL surgery. Thankfully for him, this one didn’t count.
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