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Is Jimmy Garoppolo elite? The answer over the last seven games is unequivocally yes.

Chris Biderman, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Warranted or not, there were plenty of questions surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo during the first half of the season.

Is he good enough to win a Super Bowl? Is he worth his $137.5 million contract? Can he continue the 49ers' tradition of elite quarterback play that's been in flux since Steve Young retired in 1999?

There's plenty of season left, including the playoffs, and Garoppolo will need to string together multiple campaigns like this one -- and perhaps win a Super Bowl -- before the skeptics disappear.

But the volume of those questions is lowering as the season goes on and Garoppolo continues to win for the NFC's top team. Sunday's epic win in New Orleans paired with the Seahawks loss in L.A. gave San Francisco the best record in the conference at 11-2.

Garoppolo on Wednesday was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his clutch performance against the Saints, when he threw for 349 yards and four touchdown passes en route to the last-minute comeback. It continued a strong run as Garoppolo goes through his first full season as a starter since missing nearly all of 2018 with a torn ACL.

Garoppolo, undoubtedly, has been playing like an elite quarterback.

 

He leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes while his 113.6 passer rating is third in his past seven games since the Emmanuel Sanders trade.

"I think everybody's kind of catching our stride and it starts with number 10," right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "The preparation that he puts in week in and week out, the command that he's starting to feel. The confidence and swagger that he plays with -- I don't know if anybody has more of that than him."

Garoppolo's numbers weren't nearly as robust in the beginning of the season, when the 49ers were winning mostly due to bruising defense and one of the league's best rushing attacks.

Garoppolo during his first six games was 20th in the NFL with a 90.8 passer rating. And 20 quarterbacks had more touchdown passes than his seven.

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