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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Home Sports MLB NFL Playoff Diary: NFC Championship

NFL Playoff Diary: NFC Championship

Los Angeles Rams 20, San Francisco 17

As far as you can tell, Jimmy Garropolo is on the shortlist of the most beautiful quarterbacks ever. This is not exactly my field, but the guy is clearly movie star attractive. I just made the mistake of typing “Handsome NFL quarterbacks ever” into a Google search, which led me to “The 11 most hunkiest quarterbacks in the NFL” and “Hottest NFL quarterbacks of all time” and “Why are most football quarterbacks looking good?” and several other places I definitely do not want to go.

But, based on a quick survey, it seems like these attractive QB lists usually include Tom Brady, Joe Namath, Matt Ryan, Dan Pastorini, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and, oddly enough, Elvis Grbac, which was named in 1998 “Peoplesee sexiest athlete. ”*

* Jeff Pearlman tells an absolutely hilarious story about this; he says the magazine actually chose another Chiefs quarterback, Rich Gannon, as his sexiest athlete, but the photographer took photos of the wrong person. And by the time the photos came back to New York, no one had the heart to tell Grbac that he was not the guy, so they just went through with it.

Anyway, I’m gone too far in this subject which I do not care… except to say that Jimmy Garoppolo is very clearly a nice guy, and he’s an NFL quarterback, and he was at a Super Bowl, and he’s a millionaire, and whatever happened in this game … it’s just not that bad. I mean, he’s probably right.

Through three-quarters of the NFC Championship game on Sunday, San Francisco led the Los Angeles Rams 17-7, and as the quarter began, I felt confident that the big, blundering echo in 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s head went off – and I imagine the voice. sounds like the great Jeffrey Wright – was simple: DON’T LET GAROPPOLO LOST THIS GAME.

I could be wrong. Shanahan might have had a number of thoughts in his head, such as, “Can you believe that when I was in Cleveland, the general manager texted me plays during the game?” But I think the Garoppolo thought is a little more likely because, as you may remember, Shanahan was the attacking coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, who well-known took a 28-3 lead over New England halfway through the third quarter of Super Bowl LI.

And from that point on, the Falcons probably just had to go over protecting that lead. Instead, they got aggressive – admirable but oh-so-second-guessing – and the Patriots pushed to make it 28-9, then the Hawks tried to throw it and go three-and-out, and then the Patriots a field goal after making it 28-12, and then the Hawks then three-and-out when Matt Ryan was fired, and the Patriots scored and got the two-point conversion to make it 28-20, and then hit the Falcons made a big pass, but were stopped by a bag and two innings, and then the Patriots scored and again made the two-point conversion to make it 28-28.

Not to let Falcons fans relive that fiasco, but as I say, I would think the one thought that resonated in Shanahan’s mind was the aforementioned: DON’T LET GAROPPOLO LOSE THIS GAME.

So, when the critical moment match – 10 minutes left, San Francisco leading 17-14, 49ers with the ball in midfield against a 4th and 2 – I do not think Shanahan seriously considered going for it. I take this from Shanahan’s own statement: “We did not intend to do that there in midfield in fourth and second place.”

So the 49ers hit, the Rams drove the ball into the field and scored points to level the game.

Then, with 6:49 left, the 49ers tried to run short and safe passes for Garoppolo – safe is the operative word – and he missed all three of them (with a delay of the match *). Another point, and once again the Rams drove down the field and kicked a goal kick to take the lead.

* I do not know if this is more true this year than in years ago, but it does not seem like every game now has about six delays of matches that are not called out?

Then with 1:46 left, now with three behind, the 49ers had no choice but to at least try to get Garoppolo brought back. He threw an incomplete pass, threw a pass for a three-yard loss and threw an interception.

And the Rams are going to the Super Bowl.



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