San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw zero touchdowns and one interception in a 15-14 victory over the 3-9 Chicago Bears on Sunday but is already fielding questions about comparisons to Joe Montana.
Garoppolo noted "it's only one game" while pointing out the comparisons with the all-time great are far too early. Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group shared his comments:
Cam Inman @CamInman
Watch: #49ers Jimmy Garoppolo says too early to compare himself to Joe Montana. "It's only one game." https://t.co/6TwsDO5wUI2017-12-6 21:03:29
While the comparisons between Garoppolo—who has one career start in a 49ers uniform—and Montana—a Hall of Famer, two-time MVP, four-time Super Bowl champion and arguably the best quarterback in league history—are borderline absurd at this point, it is easy for the 49ers to feel optimistic about their future with the 26-year-old under center.
He gave them just their second win of the season Sunday and completed 26-of-37 passes for 293 yards while looking comfortable in the pocket throughout the contest. He directed a 14-play, 86-yard drive on the final possession of the game, which Robbie Gould capped with the winning field goal.
With a quarterback now in place (and a high first-round draft pick likely on the way), first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan—who helped the Atlanta Falcons reach the Super Bowl last season as offensive coordinator—can focus on building a consistent winner in the Bay Area.
The five-time Super Bowl champions are in the middle of their third straight losing season and a long removed from the era of Montana's dominance. However, Garoppolo has the opportunity to change that moving forward, which could make the comparisons slightly more warranted.