The San Francisco 49ers have finally found their way into the win column after knocking off the New York Giants at home. And a large part of that victory was thanks to the incredibly strong play of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard. While Jimmy Garoppolo is currently waiting in the wings, it’s going to be interesting to see what the 49ers opt to do after their bye week at quarterback. The question is, Did Beathard do enough to start again after the Week 11 bye?
The answer, in short, is yes.
But, this may not have quite as much to do with Beathard’s play, as it does with the 49ers current situation. While there’s no denying that Beathard was superb in completing 76 percent of his passes for 288 yards, three total touchdowns (one rushing) and one interception, it goes a bit deeper than this.
Beathard’s 123.4 quarterback rating was amazing, but we have to take it with a grain of salt. The 49ers were playing a Giants team who has seemingly gone into the tank for the rest of the season and looks like arguably the worst team in the league currently. They’ve been picked apart over recent weeks, so it didn’t take a magic ball to see this potentially coming.
With all that said, though, praise needs to go to Beathard. He’s consistently shown glimpses of improving and even threw for 294 yards the week before against the Arizona Cardinals. His upside is there, but that’s not the reason why he should start again in Week 12.
That’s because the 49ers need to make sure that they truly have their backup quarterback of the future. While the hope is that Garoppolo will be the guy and the long-term answer for the 49ers, this goes much deeper than that. Beathard could add a level of comfort and reliability for a backup that very few NFL teams actually have.
And at this point, with the 49ers sitting at 1-9 on the year, the only reason Garoppolo would be playing would be to get in-game experience in his new system. If and when the 49ers decide they want to do that, I believe it should come down the very late homestretch of the season. Beathard will face a real test against the Seattle Seahawks after the bye week, even without Richard Sherman, so let the coaching staff see what he can do against them.
From there the 49ers face the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, all of which are teams who I’d prefer to see Garoppolo face off against in his new offense. Dates with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams to finish the season aren’t ideal, so the argument to leave Garoppolo sidelined all season makes sense also.
Regardless, though, there’s no reason not to let Beathard run the show for another week or two. I don’t even realistically see the point of bringing Garoppolo in currently, aside from the fact that fans would probably pile into the stadium in order to see his 49ers debut. Is that worth taking the risk that he’s not fully ready to lead this offense?
In my eyes, no, it’s not, so let Beathard continue to grow and improve. If the 49ers do this, it will benefit them in the long run.
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