A Job Undone

Maintaining a 10-point on the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers were on the cusp of football immortality.

And then, Patrick Mahomes happened.

Or, did Jimmy Garoppolo not happen?

After the Chiefs 21-0 fourth quarter run to cap a historic comeback win, the 49ers are left with some tough questions to answer.

One is whether Garoppolo is the quarterback of the future, the guy who can take the historic franchise back to the promised land.

After last night, opinion seems to be split.

Garoppolo had a rough fourth quarter. Period.

He completed only three of his 11 pass attempts for 36 yards while throwing two interceptions.

When the 49ers needed their franchise quarterback to step up and win the game, he faltered, completing only three of 11 fourth quarter passing attempts.

Mahomes, on the other hand, passed for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the decisive quarter.

The Niners, known for their ground game, surprisingly only rushed the ball four times in the final quarter.

Now, the same way the offense turned to Garoppolo on Sunday, the attention turns to him on Monday. ‘

While blame is being placed at the doorstep of Garoppolo for the loss, it’s fair to question whether he was put in the best position to win by his head coach Kyle Shanahan.

San Francisco got away from what it does best.

Still, Garoppolo is a $137 million-dollar quarterback, and for three quarters, he actually outplayed Mahomes.

In the quarter that mattered, however, he didn’t. And in hindsight, they could have seen this coming.

During the regular season, San Francisco was 1-2 in games where Garoppolo threw the ball 30 times or more. Last night, he threw 31 times.

In the 49ers’ first two playoff games – which they won convincingly – he only attempted 27 passes total.

Garoppolo’s career is still young and he is a fairly inexperienced quarterback, sporting a 23-6 record in 29 career starts.

This season, he passed for nearly 4,000 yards, threw 27 touchdown passes, and was fourth in the league in completion percentage, landing at 69.1 percent.

But stats don’t always matter when the game is on.

And on Sunday, when the game was on, Garoppolo was off.

He could still be the quarterback who delivers another Lombardi Trophy to San Francisco.

He just hasn’t done it yet.