Why Jimmy Garoppolo should not have been Rams’ answer at backup QB

The Rams are no strangers to the backup quarterback market, having employed three quarterbacks in 2023. When Matthew Stafford was on the field, the Rams offense was efficient and explosive. When Stafford was not on the field, the need for a proper backup QB was felt.

A poor showing in Green Bay by Brett Rypien led to the Rams signing Carson Wentz to round out the season. Wentz played in the season finale against San Francisco but failed to impress. Wentz went 17-for-24 with 163 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the 21-20 victory.

Since Sean McVay was hired, the Rams have called John Wofford, Sean Mannion, Blake Bortles, Bryce Perkins and Baker Mayfield into service and while Mayfield and Wofford have put together impressive performances and big victories, the backups have not been consistently successful.

The Rams need a consistent backup who plays within the structure of the offense, is able to make throws into voids and is able to understand level concepts while making appropriate reads. That player is not Jimmy Garoppolo, who the Rams are signing to a one-year deal.

Garoppolo is a washed-up quarterback whose injury history would be the most concerning thing about him if he didn’t consistently put the ball in danger. The reason he was successful in New England and San Francisco is that he was asked to be a dink-and-dunk QB, rarely called upon to make big-time throws as those teams won with a strong rushing attack and solid defense. When asked to make a big throw, he misses. Just ask Emmanuel Sanders in the Super Bowl.

Now, the Rams have an excellent run game powered by Kyren Williams and an improved interior offensive line, as well as a solid defense. But in 2023, Stafford was called on to deliver in shootouts time and time again. If Garoppolo would be placed in those same scenarios, the Rams would lose.

To exemplify Garoppolo’s inability to get the job done, in six playoff games, Garoppolo has thrown for 962 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. That’s a 160-yard average per game. In comparison, Stafford has played in eight playoff games, throwing for 2,463 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. Stafford also has three rushing touchdowns. That’s an average of 308 passing yards per game.

I’m not comparing Stafford to Garoppolo but the drop-off between starter and backup can not be that drastic. To add insult to injury, Garoppolo had an awful 2023 season. In six starts, Garoppolo averaged 200 passing yards while throwing for seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. Fourth-round rookie Aiden O’Connell would then go on to average 231 passing yards while throwing 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 10 starts for the Raiders. Even Brian Hoyer threw for 231 yards and two interceptions in his one start.

Jimmy G is on the back half of his career. He’s already suspended for two games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancement policy, which will cause him to miss Weeks 1 and 2. Garoppolo is not a good signing, especially for a team with a quarterback who has missed time and who’s flirted with retirement in recent years.

With other options available, Garoppolo should not have been the answer.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire