Former San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones didn’t mince words when he put the blame for the team’s loss to the Denver Broncos firmly on the shoulders of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers fell to the Broncos 11-10 on Sunday night. Garoppolo was 18 for 29 for 211 yards. He threw one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked four times for a loss of 32 yards.
The 49ers only had 267 total yards as a team and had three turnovers. They also only converted 13 first downs and were dominated by Denver in the time of possession only having the ball for 25:31 compared to Denver’s 34:29.
INT! @jonasgriffith comes up with the takeaway 👀
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2022
One of the biggest blunders of the game came a third of the way through the third quarter when Garoppolo gave up a safety when he stepped out of the back of the end zone after dropping back to make a pass.
While it was a huge blunder, the safety was probably the better outcome because after he did throw the ball it was picked off by the Broncos defense. Because he had already stepped out of bounds the play was blown dead and ruled a safety rather than an interception.
Jones, who played for the 49ers from 1987 to 1997 and is three-time Super Bowl champion, put the blame for the loss solely on Garoppolo.
He told KNBR, “I am laying the blame, I don’t do this very often, in fact I don’t do it hardly at all. Jimmy Garoppolo was horrible. What the heck?”
Specifically referencing the safety, Jones continued to light into Garoppolo, “When you’re a professional football player and quarterback, you know where the back of the end zone is. That was so outrageous. You know how many times I’ve seen that from a veteran quarterback. 0.0 from a veteran quarterback, it’s just the worst. While I was yelling, ‘ What are you thinking?’ He’s throwing a pick-six so I’m rooting for safety.”
“You know since we got Jimmy, I’ve been pretty supportive of Jimmy, and I’ve tried to say so along the way,” Jones continued. “And he’s not perfect, he does one or two goofy things every game and we talked about this, even when Trey was the starter. I said, ‘Just remember, the world isn’t totally rosy with Jimmy in there.’”
He then really lit into Garoppolo for how he acted after the loss, “That fumble he was pulling away from the center too early, the pick into double maybe triple coverage was just nasty, but I gotta say, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, after you played horrible and you’re the reason your team lost the game, you do not smile and go glad handing the other team after the game. I’ve never seen that from any quarterback ever, that has ever been any good.”
A problem with the snap and the @Broncos take over!
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2022
Jones didn’t relent, “Steve Young? No way. Joe Montana? Hell no. Brett Favre? No chance in heck. You think Russell Wilson is laughing after he throws a pick, steps out of the end zone for a safety and fumbles a ball and plays horrible and his team’s 1-2 and the reason they lost the game.”
“It almost looked like he didn’t even care. It was so frustrating, and maybe I was just mad because the game was so ugly. If that’s me, I’m running for the locker room. I am not smiling, I am not talking to anybody for a week if you play like that. I just don’t get his disposition, but that was really frustrating. Icing on the cake,” he bemoaned.
Jones then relayed what he would have preferred to see Garoppolo do instead of smiling and glad handing, “I want to see Jimmy grabbing a couple receivers and talking to them, I want to see him patting his linemen on the shoulder and saying ‘I need some time’…I want him talking to a coach.”
“I always just see him sitting there posing and nobody is taking GQ pics on the sideline,” he said. “I want to see some emotion, I want to see some quarterbacking, but they always just show him sitting there looking stoic, posing. I wanna see some messed up hair, how about that?”
He then declared, “I want my quarterback all in. I’m not saying he’s not, but it sure comes across like, ‘Ya, know, oh well, too bad, I had to take a pay cut this year. It’s not on me, I’m just here having fun. High five. Yeah we got smoked.’”
Finally, he questioned, “Do you know we’ve played three crappy teams? These teams are pretty crappy. They’ll all finish under .500 and we’re 1-2, and we’re out laughing after the game. C’mon. How come I’m more mad than Jimmy?”
In his post-game press conference Garoppolo put the blame on a lack of preparation saying, “We weren’t in a rhythm at all in the second half. You could feel it. You could see it. We were talking on the sideline, but I was just thinking about it, it was kind of my first week with these guys and I just got to get into a rhythm with them especially like third down.
“I mean we were terrible today and I just got to get on the same page with those guys and we gotta convert those,” he added.
He elaborated on that saying, “You try to do all the practicing and preparation you can on the sideline being the number two, and then when you get tossed into it you just — you know I didn’t go through OTAs in training camp and I’m not trying to make excuses or anything, but I just got to get in game shape and get rolling now.”
What do you make of Jones’ blistering criticism of Garoppolo?