Santa Clara, CA — Fresh off the trade with the New England Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo suited up for his first start of the season with his new team the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Mike Nguyen felt Jimmy G had a pretty good grasp of the offense to start him right away against the Arizona Cardinals.
On his first snap of the game he connected with Marquise Goodwin for a gain of 34 yards. He then followed that up with a strike to TE Garrett Celek for a gain of 15 yards. Another former Patriot Dion Lewis would get in the end zone on the 3rd play of the drive to put the 49ers up 7-0 early. This was the first time all season that the 49ers scored a TD on their opening possession. Levi’s stadium was definitely feeling it after that Garoppolo 3 play 71 yard drive for a TD.
Arizona star RB David Johnson was not able to do anything against a hot 49ers defense rushing 13 times for 23 yards. The only bright spot for the Cardinals was their reliable star WR Larry Fitzgerald who had 4 receptions for 106 yards. Cardinals QB Drew Stanton got the start for the injured Carson Palmer and finished the game with a solid stat line if 20/30 249 yards 2TD and 0 INTs. He missed a couple of wide open receivers which stalled crucial drives.
Star of the game
Marquise Goodwin was the star of the game. In the 2nd quarter Garoppolo found him on a 7 yard slant for his 1st touchdown of the day. Later in the 4th quarter Garoppolo threw a 62 yard bomb to the speedster Goodwin for his 2nd touchdown of the game and fifth of the season. Goodwin finished with a season high 5 Rec 173 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Making an impact
The buzz around the Bay Area has been how well Garoppolo started the game and maintained his poise to finish strong. Garoppolo’s eye popping stats on his debut 12/16 284 yards 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Impressive when you consider the 49ers quarterbacks have been averaging one thrown interception per game.
Garoppolo after the game “What an adrenaline rush! I really wanted to come out here on my first start and send a message that the 49ers didn’t make a mistake.The 49ers organization and coach Nguyen really put everything on the line for me to be here. It just feels like we are starting to click offensively. Honored to be here and ready to rack up them Ws!”
Coach Nguyen had this to add “You just get that feeling that we are ready to make that push. The past couple seasons we started off slow as a team and around this time in November we really start to hit the overdrive. The league knows how dangerous we are as a team when we start playing like this. I’m ready to ride this momentum all the way to the Super Bowl!”
With the win the 49ers move to a game above .500 at 5-4 and they will remain at home to host the New York Giants next week. The Cardinals loss is their third straight and puts a dagger in their playoff hopes as they fall to a record of 2-6. Things won’t be getting any easier for them as they will be back at home next week to take on the best team in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks.