Chiefs v. 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo looks to redeem himself in Kansas City
49ers Offseason Changes
The 49ers’ offseason wasn’t exactly a whirlwind, like the Chiefs and their two recent opponents, but this team will still be greatly changed from just last year. There is a quiet optimism about this team’s prospects, in large part due to the return from injury of their starting quarterback.
Fans will remember, Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t played since the Week 3 contest from last year against the Chiefs, where he tore his ACL attempting to gain an extra yard or two on a scramble. While Garoppolo has the ability to scramble for the first down here or there, it’s not something he relies on. As a more prototypical pocket passer, I wouldn’t expect there to be any lingering effects of the injury to his play style.
Will he live up to the mega contract he signed just last offseason? That’s another question altogether. With players like Dak Prescott reportedly asking for upwards of $34 million per year, it seems the 49ers and their fans may have actually gotten a bargain. Now, reports and the latest preseason game show he’s a little rusty, but given time, he should be a productive and serviceable quarterback.
There was still more to this offseason for the 49ers, as Chiefs fans will remember. In a tag and trade, the Chiefs offloaded veteran pass-rusher Dee Ford for the 49ers’ 2019 second-round draft pick. The 49ers then proceeded to sign Ford to a sizable deal that keeps him with the team for at least the next few seasons.
Make no mistake, Ford was a dominant pass rusher last season. Yet, his lack of consistency over the years and injury history understandably gave fans pause and was allegedly the reasoning behind why the Chiefs decided to move on. The question on the minds of Chiefs and 49ers fans is whether or not the dominance Ford showcased rushing the passer in 2018 will be his new normal or was it another example of the contract year going undefeated. This season will go a long way to answering that question.
Finally, there’s the addition of first-round draft pick and defensive end Nick Bosa. The younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowler Joey Bosa and the son of former NFL player John Bosa, Nick has genetically inherited a rare blend of size, speed, and power that should make him an effective edge defender for years.
The only question with the youngest Bosa is whether or not the injuries he’s experienced over the last two years are merely just bumps in the road or a sign of things to come. There’s no shortage of players with monumental talent whose careers were cut short or diminished due to injury. We can only hope that’s not the case with Nick.
All in all, I’m told the 49ers fan base views this year with expectations of a step forward. They acquired a big name at the most pivotal position at the end of the 2017 season who led them to five straight wins to finish. That got the hype train rolling out of the station but it didn’t get far before it crashed. This offseason was spent fine tuning the squad, and there’s a lot to be optimistic for—not just in 2019, but in 2020 and beyond.
*Important Note: This scouting report does not include the final pre-game injury report for either team. As such, some of these items are subject to change barring any updates on the players mentioned in the article.