Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Kyle Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo's debut: 'It was pretty impressive'

Kyle Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo's debut: 'It was pretty impressive'

All eyes are on the Chicago Bears and coach John Fox following the team's loss to the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The 49ers and Chicago Bears both are injury-riddled teams with dubious rosters and bad records. The snowball effect from that one statistic was huge, even if it didn't show up on the scoreboard. The defense would get exhausted in the fourth quarter, allowing the other team to score enough to win the game. In his first full game in a 49ers uniform and his first in his native Chicago since he was a college sophomore, Jimmy Garoppolo looked like he belonged in the lead role.

If there were any concerns over the amount of time it would take Garoppolo to adapt to starting in Shanahan's offense, those were quickly put to bed as he produced an extremely strong display. This was the best offensive display of consistency since Week 3, really, when Brian Hoyer was still the QB. Garoppolo (26-of-37, 293 yards, one interception) exhibited skillful accuracy, touch, mobility and overall leadership.

Since 2001, there have been 2,431 field-goal attempts from inside 25 yards, according to ESPN Stats & Info via Jeff Dickerson. Fox essentially handed the 49ers the win. The small kinks can be worked out over the final four games of the season, but Garoppolo is the real deal for the S.F. organization.

The former Patriot gave his team a 3-0 lead behind a 60-yard, game-opening drive, but ran into trouble on his second possession as a tipped ball over the middle led to the first interception of his professional career.

"It'll be fun to get back and watch the tape", Shanahan said. That was at Candlestick Park on Monday Night Football against Chicago, in fact. The 49ers had struggled to protect all season and though Garoppolo has the ability to evade pressure, giving him a clean pocket also figured to give him a chance to make more plays down the field. The 49ers defeated the Bears 15-14.

"It's very impressive", said leading receiver Marquise Goodwin, who caught all eight of his targets for 99 yards. It did, however, end with a San Francisco victory. San Francisco gave up a 61-yard punt return on which the Bears tailback spectacularly reversed field for the score, and the Niners were fortunate that a 67-yard return from the same player was called back for a penalty.

"He did a good job for his first time".

Garoppolo has four auditions remaining this season, beginning with a trip to Houston in Week 14.

Rest assured, there will be plenty more red No. 10 jerseys donned by proud 49ers fans who've longed for quarterback stability from their storied franchise since the fleeting days of Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick and sustained success under Joe Montana and Steve Young.

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