SANTA CLARA, California. Much of the soccer world, outside the San Francisco Bay area, is waiting for Jimmy G to break.
Despite the deep success of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who holds a 22-5 record in his career as a starter and holds the 49ers to a victory of a Super Bowl spot, only a year out of go 4-12 when he missed most of the season with a torn ACL, people seem to be waiting for the other shoe to fall, so that he is exposed as less than the quarterback that has been shown in 27 starts in the NFL
Maybe it’s just envy.
Perhaps the outside world sees Garoppolo as a type of silver spoon, having been recruited by the Patriots and learned at the foot of the great Tom Brady and the elite surroundings of the New England dynasty.
Maybe people are just jealous of their appearance on the cover of the magazine, or are discouraged by the fact that nothing seems to bother him or get close to getting him off the axis of his perfect life.
Whatever it is, much of the public watching the NFL does not believe Garoppolo is an elite quarterback capable of taking his team to the Super Bowl.
However, Jimmy G is one victory from that feat after completing his first full and injury-free season as a starter, which led the 49ers to 14 wins in 17 games, including a playoff victory over the Vikings.
It seems appropriate that the highest obstacle for Garoppolo and the 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is regularly deified as one of the best wizards among quarterbacks in the history of the league, and for good reason, because he is so good.
So, this is a fertile week for those who doubt Jimmy G.
Discredit it at your own risk.
“It’s ridiculous,” 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey told The Post on Wednesday. “What is he, 22-5 as a starter? That says everything. He is a winner. That’s all that matters. I mean, he has shown that when we need him, he complies. He went down to New Orleans and dueled against a Hall of Famer. [Saints quarterback Drew Brees in Week 14] And beat him. It has come out and has launched four touchdown passes, it has done it several times this season when we have needed it.
“He doesn’t care about anything other than winning games.”
In the most outstanding game of the 49ers season, their 27-10 dismantling of the Vikings in the NFC division round last week, they ran 47 times for 186 yards, while Garoppolo completed only 11 passes for 131 yards.
That has somehow perpetuated the theory that Garoppolo is taking the wheel of the autonomous Tesla without even having to look at the road or touch the wheel.
What is conveniently forgotten are games like the 49ers win by 48-46 over the Saints, when Garoppolo threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns. Or his 28-25 victory over Arizona when he pitched for 317 yards and four touchdowns. Or the 36-26 victory over Arizona when he pitched for 424 yards and four touchdowns.
If Rodgers had designed those victories, he would have been universally acclaimed for carrying the Packers on his shoulders.
Garoppolo? Not that much.
“This is how this world works,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. “We ran the ball last week, so many people will say that Jimmy didn’t do enough.” But there are many games this year in which we have not been able to run the ball and we won it by passing. I know Jimmy doesn’t care how we win. He is so locked in whatever the plan is and whatever we are doing. “
Jimmy G’s opinion about the lack of credit he receives?
“While we win,” he said, “I am quite happy.”
Those in the 49ers locker room swear by Garoppolo.
“He doesn’t do anything for the cameras, he’s a realistic and realistic human being … just an amazing leader,” said left tackle Joe Staley.
“In the countryside, he is so calm, calm and serene and, under pressure, nothing disturbs him,” McGlinchey said. “Off the field, what makes him a good leader is that he’s just one of the boys. He doesn’t like all the things that come with being an NFL quarterback. He’s such a genuine human being that you’ll find, so humble and very hardworking. All he cares about is being a good person and winning football matches.
“And he is good at both.”