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At 31, with the 49ers in win-now mode, is this Jimmy Garoppolo’s final shot at a Super Bowl?

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo warms up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks

When the season began, Jimmy Garoppolo might have thought he wouldn't see the field this campaign. He had been benched with the San Francisco 49ers choosing Trey Lance as their starting quarterback. He was coming back from a shoulder surgery and the 49ers could not offload him to any other potential suitors. He eventually signed a one-year contract with the team and delayed any further course of action until after the 2022 season.

But in the NFL, as in life, there are always surprises in store. Trey Lance suffered an injury during the 49ers' Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks. It was later revealed to be a broken ankle and that the young quarterback was done for the season. That allowed Jimmy Garoppolo to take over the reins at quarterback again with the 49ers.

Since then, he has led the team admirably and they have racked up a 6-4 record, sitting atop the NFC West. They are in pole position to make the playoffs again. For Jimmy Garoppolo, that is not new territory. He has taken the 49ers to one Super Bowl appearance and last season they went all the way to the NFC Championship. When they lost that game to eventual Super Bowl winners, the Los Angeles Rams, it seemed like the end of a cycle for him.

Instead, if he gets to lead them into the playoffs again this time, he will have the benefit of more experience behind him. He will be able to learn from the last two times where they failed at the final hurdles. Considering his future is still uncertain after this season, this might be his best chance to win the Super Bowl.

Having him back as the starting quarterback has changed the narrative for the 49ers. Rather than build a team around Trey Lance, they are now looking at a final shot with Jimmy Garoppolo. That means they are all in to win now, instead of building for the future, because the future will probably not involve their current starting quarterback.

Garoppolo, too, seems determined to win this season as he knows his contract expires at the end of the season. He is 31 years old, and wherever he goes next might not have the potential to go all the way. It is a perfect situation for both the team and the quarterback to prioritize winning now.

"There's an unfairness... What bothers me is the Super Bowl-or-bust mentality. The minute Jimmy Garoppolo has a bad game, it's gonna be 'see, can't win with Jimmy.'"@SteinmetzNBA wants to give Jimmy his flowers.(via @SteinyGuru957) https://t.co/gwC7YFlK1S

Jimmy Garoppolo's stats in the 2022 NFL season

Jimmy Garoppolo has flown under the radar this season with his performances. This is not new for a quarterback who sat behind Tom Brady in two Super Bowl-winning appearances. Much of the focus has been on Patrick Mahomes' exhilarating play, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers' struggles and Josh Allen's elbow. rather than anything Garoppolo has done.

In that shadow, he has compiled a record of 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions for the season. The only game where he has thrown multiple interceptions was against the Atlanta Falcons.

In the 49ers' last game against the Cardinals, he had his best outing of the season, throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 131.9. If this last showing is the level he keeps playing at, there is a good chance that 49ers will have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl. His overall passer rating this season is already 104.1.

Jimmy Garoppolo ranks this season RankPasser Rating 104.1 5thYards/Att 8.09 4thPass TD-INT 15-4 6th https://t.co/wqP98fWSjp

Quietly and unassumingly, Jimmy Garoppolo is putting the 49ers in the mix for a deep playoff run yet again. The team knows he is just a placeholder as does he. That makes it imperative for both to try and win this year. At his age, it might be the best shot for Garoppolo too.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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