The San Francisco 49ers improved to 8-0 on Thursday, winning a close game over the Arizona Cardinals thanks in large part to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers QB threw for 317 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, while making some key throws late as the team bled out the clock.
The 49ers have been rolling this season thanks primarily to their defense and ground game. It’s led to analysts suggesting Garoppolo is more a game manager than playmaker. It’s an easy argument for people to jump on, but considering the relatively small sample size, it has felt like a bit of jumping the gun. Of course, in the era of hot takes, what can you expect?
Garoppolo’s big game has led to a big move on his odds to win the NFL MVP award this season. Entering the game, he was 50/1 at DraftKings Sportsbook. After the game, he improved to 30/1. He’s now just behind Dalvin Cook and Dak Prescott (25/1). Aaron Rodgers (+250) leads the race, ahead of Russell Wilson (+300), Lamar Jackson (+600), and DeShaun Watson (+750).
We’re at the halfway point of the NFL season, so there is a long way to go for Jimmy G to make his move. And while it was an impressive showing in Week 9, we need to consider some context. The Cardinals entered the game ranked 27th in pass defense efficiency and are giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. They’re not a good defense.
Looking ahead, the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football in Week 10. The Seahawks defense ranks 19th in pass efficiency and have given up the 11th most fantasy points. That’s followed by a home game against Arizona before things get tough against Green Bay, Baltimore and New Orleans.
It would not be surprising to see his odds at or under 20/1 after the next two divisional games. When it gets to that three game stretch against the Packers, Ravens, and Saints, we’ll find out just how for real he is. He’s clearly a solid quarterback, but is he as good as he was last night? He likely won’t be taking home the MVP award, but the final two months will tell us plenty about Jimmy G.