The Downfall Of Jimmy Garoppolo

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By Samantha Stephensen

The sad story of the often injured, underachieving Jimmy Garoppolo

From entering the league with sky high expectations, to some touting him as the next Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo had so many people counting on him to be phenomenal in the NFL. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out, and his career is looking like it’s going downhill fast. 

Garoppolo’s career kicked off with the New England Patriots, but he didn’t get a single start under center for the first two years of his career thanks to Tom Brady. When Brady was suspended, Garoppolo got two starts at quarterback for the Patriots and played great. He won both games, threw for 502 yards, and four touchdowns without an interception.

Jimmy Garoppolo

The hype was getting strong at this point and the struggling San Francisco 49ers shelled out some cash to bring him in. Now, Garoppolo might not be the most talented player, though he does have a way of winning games. He started five games for the 49ers and won all of them in his first season with them.

Unfortunately, he suffered an injury which held him out for the remainder of the year. It does get worse though, as Garoppolo returned the following year to start off 1-2 and get injured once more, missing another season. 

Then his hype rose again in 2019, when he helped the 49ers go 13-3 and march into the postseason. The team cruised through their first two playoff games and clinched a spot in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs. At the start oof the fourth quarter, the 49ers were up 20-10 and looking good.

Then, Patrick Mahomes and company stormed back to make it a game again. When the 49ers had a big opportunity to put this game away and answer the comeback, Garoppolo missed a wide-open target down field which would have resulted in a touchdown. Instead, he misses that pass, and the 49ers choke their lead and lose. The following year, he went 3-3 and got injured again, missing the reset of the campaign. 

At this point, it’s clear that he has a trend of winning games, having his stock rise, then getting injured while simultaneously forcing the process to restart. See, in 2021 he went 9-6 and won two playoff games with the 49ers, losing in the NFC Championship game   to the Los Angeles Rams. Once again, he looked like the chosen one. In 2022, he went 7-3 but got hurt and missed the rest of the year. 

Nobody really knew what to expect with Garoppolo at this stage in his career. Then, the desperate Las Vegas Raiders dished out a big contract to him this past offseason. The team thought Derek Carr wasn’t the answer, and that reuniting him with Josh McDaniel’s, his former Patriots offensive coordinator.  

We are six games in, and he’s gone 3-3 while just now getting benched in favor of the rookie Aidan O’Connell. Garoppolo might have incredibly bad luck, or he’s just not as talented as everybody keeps anticipating, especially other franchises. He’s played more than 10 games in just three of his 10 years in the league.  Two of those years saw him win two playoff games, yet he missed critical throws in both of those runs with them falling just short. 

The fact that he’s been benched already after an abysmal performance against the Detroit Lions is really telling. The Raiders aren’t very good, but there’s enough offensive talent that Garoppolo should be able to perform on a decent level. He’s just not been good enough at all, and a benching this quickly feels unheard of given the money they handed him. It’s not a good look for Garoppolo and the Raiders. 

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