Jimmy Garoppolo's homecoming game featured a handful of firsts. Aside from his first start as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Garoppolo grabbed his first win in his new uniform in what was the team's second win of 2017.
You wouldn't have known that Garoppolo had only been in Kyle Shanahan's offense for a month given how comfortable he looked on Sunday.
"I thought it was a real good first start. I thought he handled the offense well. Definitely moved the chains and moved the ball well for us. It will be fun to get back and watch the tape," Shanahan said. "Now he has a game to really learn from what was good, what was bad. It makes it more fun going in to next week with him."
In the 49ers 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears, Garoppolo finished 26-of-37 for a career-high 293 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Garoppolo's 293 yards set the franchise record for most passing yards by a 49ers quarterback in his first start.
"Everything's been tough, trying to get here and trying to get everything down as quickly as possible. There's so many different variables that go in to it," Garoppolo said post-game. "But I think we came out there, obviously, some things to improve on, we'll watch the tape and get better at that stuff. But overall, you've got to find a way to win at the end of the day."
Garoppolo was clutch and came up big when needed. While trailing 14-12 with less than five and a half minutes remaining in the contest, Garoppolo led a 14-play, 86-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal.
The quarterback had several timely completions to Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor. Taylor's 33-yard catch-and-run on 3rd-and-9 moved San Francisco into field-goal range. Garoppolo was 14-for-14 for 191 yards when targeting both Taylor and Goodwin.
"All of those guys, the skill positions all-around the group made some big plays today," Garoppolo said. "Trent stepped up for sure, especially on third down. Him and Marquise made some crucial plays for us, really. Especially at the end there. Trent stepping up like that. Whenever you see that, especially in a young guy like that, it's impressive."
Garoppolo managed to spread the ball around to nine different receivers and continuously delivered on third down. San Francisco converted 10-of-18 third-down attempts, the most by a 49ers offense since Week 8 in 2007 (10-of-19 agains the New Orleans Saints).
"That's the trust part you have with teammates. I'm starting to learn that with certain guys. And hopefully it keeps grows with everybody. That's apart of becoming a team especially on offense. Trusting the o-line, the o-line trusting you, you trusting the receivers. It all plays a hand in each other."
Garoppolo now boasts a 3-0 record as an NFL starter. While there's no exact indication of what lies ahead for Garoppolo's future with San Francisco, his first win should give the Faithful plenty of hope.
"I think this is the most confident I've been since I've gotten here. Every week it gets easier and easier, and We'll start putting more things in and adding to the repertoire," Garoppolo added. "I think we're moving in the right direction."