Going Long: In Form Jimmy Garoppolo Boosts 49ers' Playoff Odds
Which NFL team The San Francisco 49ers have been experience a surge in confidence lately, mostly attributable to the superb form of their star quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.The sunny feeling in their locker room is mirrored in Las Vegas, with bookmakers such as the West Gate Superbook placing 49ers odds to make playoffs at 20-1.
It would seem that bookmakers are preparing themselves for a rush of heavy action on the 49ers ledger after their rising star, Garoppolo, led his team to a stellar season's end with five straight wins. To make the streak even more impressive, two of those victories were over the Titans and the Jaguars, playoff teams that would have been nearly impossible hurdles for the 49ers just a couple of seasons ago.
The team seemed to have been just about due for a round of success. Team owner Jed York had had to endure a painful four-year stretch without any playoff appearance coupled with two years of downright bad football, highlighted by their 7-25 record in 2015-16. To add even more salt to the wound, he had to watch as the new stadium he had constructed - Levi's Stadium - be the host arena for his team's implosion.
Things had to change. After getting rid of Harbaugh, the team took on Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly to coach the team for a season apiece, as they couldn't quite kindle any flames in the struggling team. Next to take the helm were a bit of risk for the 49ers management - John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan - two people who have never held the job of team coach. There's no-one doubting the wisdom of this selection today.
They managed to pull off the trade that saw Garoppolo join the team where teams such as the Browns failed, at a time when the team was struggling from the inconsistent performances of quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard. Most of speculators had thought the new coaches would have made a go at Kirk Cousin during the off-season or seek to draft a top-rate quarterback.
The Garoppolo effect saw the team's offensive capacity ranked third in the entire league. Whenever Jimmy laced up for a start on the field, they would end the day with an average of 410 yards. They were third in third-down conversions as well as fifth in in scoring with an average of 28.8 points per game.
The defense is also feeling the good vibes. They too stepped up their game and began to record better numbers thanks to Garoppolo's presence. They improved their possession times and extended their drives significantly. The opposition also had a harder time getting past them, with the San Francisco side allowing an average of only 19.8 points per game since Garoppolo's arrival. In the 11 games preceding his arrival at the team, they let an average of 25.82 points slip past them.
The 49ers story is a great one to watch, as their long-suffering fans are rewarded with overdue success that seems to be just beginning.It will be interesting to see just how far their new-found optimism and momentum, will take them.


 


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