The 2020 San Francisco 49ers hardly resemble anything like the NFC-winning club the franchise fielded only a season ago.
At 4-5, the Niners are last in the NFC West with an offense that ranks 13th overall (374 yards per game) and a defense currently the seventh-best in the league (324.7 yards per game). It's been an odd year full of injuries and inconsistent play but it hasn't shaken the team's belief in its foundational athletes.
"I think the elephant in the room, everyone wants to know about Jimmy. We're a better football team when he's out there. We win a lot of games when he's out there, we've struggled to win without him. People can try and pick his game apart.
"I do believe a lot of this year, Jimmy probably hasn't played up to his standard. I think a lot of that, he's been somewhat compromised with his health since he had that high ankle in the New York Jets game. Think about prior to the ankle injury in that game, I believe he was 12-of-14, he was our player of the game. We have a lot of belief in Jimmy."
Lynch's comments come only a day after The Athletic's Mike Sando reported the belief by multiple league executives that the Niners are getting ready to move on from their quarterback.
"I think he may be done in San Francisco," one executive told Sando. "And if they keep him, it's only because they don't have another option."
Garoppolo is 22-8 as the 49ers starter with 7,352 yards, 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, but he's just 3-3 this season with seven scores on five picks. He's back on the injured list for the second time this year with a high ankle sprain and has only completed one season without missing a game since joining the Niners in 2017.
Making matters more complicated he's owed at least $26 million in each of his next two seasons before hitting free agency in 2023.
San Francisco may not have a choice but to see his contract through without any better options.
Lynch believes his club is better with Garoppolo on the field and that's not hard to defend. Whether or not he gets an extension in San Francisco remains to be seen.