It’s Jimmy G Time in San Francisco
The new era in San Francisco has officially arrived and it looks like the 49ers might have found their new franchise quarterback.
After riding the pine for a few weeks while learning a new playbook, Kyle Shanahan handed to reins to the new face of the franchise in Jimmy Garoppolo. With just one win on the season the 49ers really had nothing to lose, and with Garoppolo’s rookie contract expiring after this season they need to figure out what they actually have.
Facing the Bears in Week 13 was a good chance for Garoppolo to get his feet wet against an opponent that sucks almost as much as the 49ers do this year, and despite not being able to score a touchdown all game, Jimmy G was able to do enough to get the 49ers their second win of the season. The 49ers won 15-14, with all points coming on field goals from Robbie Gould.
That accuracy was on full display, and it was clear that Jimmy G picked up a few tricks during his time as Brady’s backup. It’s impressive that Garoppolo was able to look so good with the team he has around him, but he was able to throw for 293 yards on 26 for 37 passing with one interception. Most notably, Garoppolo was able to control the clock, as the 49ers controlled the ball for 38:47 compared to 21:13 for the Bears. The 49ers have reportedly had an interest in Kirk Cousins, but if Garoppolo can impress over the last few games of the season then expect them to lock him up long term. They still need a team around him, but the 49ers are definitely heading in the right direction.
Meanwhile, the Giants quarterback switch didn’t go as well as they were hoping. After Ben McAdoo decided to bench Eli Manning in favour of Geno Smith, most of New York was confused as to what exactly was going on in McAdoo’s head at that time. As it turns out, apparently it wasn’t much. The Giants lost 24-17 to the Raiders, while Smith threw for 212 yards and a touchdown. For the Raiders, the win helped keep them in playoff contention, now tied the Chiefs and Chargers in the AFC West all at 6-6. For the Giants, this was the unofficial end to their season. They cleaned house, firing both McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese, and they already announced that Manning is back to being the starter again next week.
This season has gone just about as bad as possible for the Giants, whether injuries to start players such as Odell Beckham Jr, Brandon Marshall or Janoris Jenkins, or just dumb decisions made by their head coach. At 2-10 this year, the Giants have no hope of saving this season, and finish the year off against each of their NFC East opponents and a matchup against the Cardinals.
There were a lot of good games over the weekend, but the Monday game between the Steelers and Bengals is one that had everybody talking. The Steelers were able to overcome a 17-3 deficit at halftime to complete a 23-20 comeback win as Chris Boswell kicked the winning field goal with no time left. While the comeback was impressive, it was the the physicality of the game that has people talking.
Ryan Shazier, Vontaze Burfict and Antonio Brown were all on the receiving end from some big hits, although Shazier’s was self-inflicted and also the most serious.
There’s no timeline on when he’ll be back on the field, but so far all signs have pointed towards a full recovery. We’re used to some physical games in the AFC North, but this game only intensified the rivalry between these two teams.
In case you missed it, check out last week’s recap here.