49ers fans know the drill by now, even if they fight hard to ignore it.
Jimmy Garoppolo is just good enough to help the team win. And he’s just bad enough to make the team lose.
Both sides of that coin emerged on Sunday, with Garoppolo making a pair of misfires after the 49ers built a 23-7 lead. Before the interception that opened the door for the near-miss that 49ers experienced, Garoppolo overthrew a wide-ass open Brandon Aiyuk for what would have been a long gain and could have set the stage for a backbreaking 26-7 or 30-7 score.
Then came a Dallas field goal that cut the margin to 13. Then came the moment when Dr. Jimmy inevitably became Mr. Hide-Your-Kids-Hide-Your-Wife.
“I didn’t grip it the right way,” Garoppolo told Peter King of Football Morning in America of the interception that resulted in the score being trimmed to 23-17. “Not trying to make excuses, but things happen like that. Really not too much more to it than that.”
Things happen like that too often for Garoppolo. It’s so often that it’s not just predictable but expected. Everything is going well for the 49ers. Then, when you least expect it, expect it. Or, when you most expect it, expect it.
Either way, expect it.
That’s exactly what the 49ers need to expect, and to account for, in advance of Saturday night’s game at Lambeau Field. San Francisco is arguably the better overall team. But they’ll win only if they can find a way to keep their quarterback from losing the game.
Go ahead, 49ers fans. Get upset that we’re speaking the hard truths you’d rather ignore. You’ve seen it. You’ve lived it. And you’re expecting to live it and see it again.
Anyone who knows anything about pro football is. Indeed, if it doesn’t happen at some point between now and Super Bowl LVI, it will be truly unexpected.