Kurtenbach: The big difference between Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo heading into prove-it Week Two games

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San ...

Both of the Bay Area NFL quarterbacks turned in bad Week One performances.

Both faced elite defenses. Both were let down by their supporting casts, to varrying degrees, up front and out wide. Both threw three interceptions.

But there is a big difference between 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s poor game against the Vikings and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s poor performance against the Rams, and that difference is why I’m betting on Garoppolo to bounce back in Week Two and why I’m not optimistic Carr can do the same.

You see, generally speaking (we’re not going to go All-22 truther here) Garoppolo’s mistakes against Minnesota — which were no doubt troublesome — were errors of commission. He tried to push the ball downfield against the best defense in the NFC and was burned.

But Carr’s performance was filled with errors of omission. He wasn’t challenging the defense by pushing the ball downfield — he was dinking and dunking at a possibly historic rate and he still found a way to turn the ball over three times.

While there’s no acceptable three-interception game, one effort is forgivable and the other isn’t.

Making it all the more confusing is the fact that, when comparing these two quarterbacks, Carr is the one with the cannon arm and the perception that he has a gunslinging mentality, while Garoppolo is the short-to-intermediate passer who values accuracy.

We’re living in strange times, friends.

The Garoppolo Week One debacle doesn’t need a tremendous amount of analysis — the Vikings ate him up via dominant pass rush and timely blitzes, so he threw the ball to them three times.

Still, even without the team’s top (only?) deep threat, Marquise Goodwin, Garoppolo challenged downfield. Eighteen on Garoppolo’s 33 pass attempts against Minnesota traveled eight yards or deeper. Attempts were made — without much time to throw, Garoppolo’s attempted throws averaged 11.2 yards in the air — fifth best in the NFL in Week One.

Furthering the case that Garoppolo was pushing the ball downfield, I’ll cite the NFL “aggressiveness percentage” percentage. I don’t understand it, but it seems to indicate aggressiveness, so I’ll cite it: Garoppolo checked in at 24.2 percent, sixth-best in the league in Week One.

Playing the Lions — with their poor pass rush — should make things easier for Garoppolo in Week Two. At the same time, Detroit is going to disguise passing coverages — that’s the book on beating the San Francisco quarterback. Can Garoppolo recognize those disguises and continue to deliver the ball downfield?

On the flip side, Carr attempted only 5.3 air yards per pass attempt in Week One. The only quarterback worse in the first game of the season was Washington’s Alex Smith, who checked in at 3.7 air yards per pass attempt.

(Washington’s coach is Jay Gruden. Hmmmmmmm.)

Carr’s excuses for his timid play in Week One were re-runs from 2017. We don’t need to play the greatest hits for him again.

At the same time, knee-jerk apologists decided that the Raiders’ deep threat, Amari Cooper (one catch) needed to be better against the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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