San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, center, hands off the ball to running back Carlos Hyde during Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast The Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, center, hands off the ball to running back Carlos Hyde during Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast The Associated Press

49ers with Matt Barrows

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San Francisco 49ers

Report card: Garoppolo looks like a natural

By Matt Barrows

mbarrows@sacbee.com

December 03, 2017 12:47 PM

UPDATED December 03, 2017 03:50 PM

Offense: Jimmy Garoppolo looked like he belonged at the helm of San Francisco’s offense and made several high-degree-of-difficulty passes in traffic to Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor. The next step: Turning some of those field-goal drives into touchdowns. Grade: B+

Defense: The defense forced five punts and held the Chicago Bears to some very average numbers, including 62 rushing yards. The only knock: A takeaway likely would have removed the need for last-minute heroics. The 49ers didn’t have any. Grade: A-

Special teams: Kicker Robbie Gould made all five of his field-goal attempts in his return to Chicago, but a 61-yard punt return by the Bears’ Tarik Cohen – in which he initially retreated 15 yards – sinks the group’s grade. The 49ers’ punt-coverage team had allowed 61 yards total all season until that point. Grade: C-

Overall: In his first 49ers start, Garoppolo looked exactly like the team hoped he would: comfortable in the pocket, slippery out of it and able to zip passes into tight spaces. The 49ers were the better team Sunday, thanks in large part to Garoppolo, but they only squeaked away with the 15-14 win. Grade: B+

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Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.