Last Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins saw the 49ers lose a vital piece of their offense. Jimmy Garappolo (16 TD, four interceptions) went out with a foot injury, leaving the offense in Brock Purdy's hands. If you don't know, Purdy is the most recent "Mr. Irrelevant"; he was the last pick in the NFL Draft. However, Purdy handled matters just fine as the 49ers throttled the Dolphins, 33-17. Many pundits have discounted San Francisco's chances without Garappolo and with good reason; he's the heartbeat of the team. However, the other perspective should be looked at. Here are three reasons why the 49ers are still Super Bowl contenders, even without Jimmy G.
The Offensive Weapons: Even without Garappolo, the 49ers still have a plethora of offensive weapons. Take your pick from these offensive stars. Want yards after catch? Can't go wrong with George Kittle. Do you need a rising pure receiver? Gotta love Brandon Aiyuk. Want versatility from your offense? Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey are game-changers. The team has his back the same way they have Jimmy G's, which is a sign they'll be fine. As long as the 49ers have these main pieces intact, they'll still be in the hunt, especially with their head coach...
Kyle Shanahan: Shanahan has shown why his teams are a constant threat with his offensive genius. His system takes the pressure off the quarterback; as long as the quarterback doesn't make too many mistakes, the Niners will win. Adding the likes of McCaffrey to the offense makes San Francisco an easy offense for any quarterback to learn. Plus, there are numerous variables in Shanahan's offense; you'll never know if you're getting Deebo Samuel on a jet sweep or Trent Williams in motion to throw a sick block.
The Defense: The best defense in the NFL always keeps their teams in the game. Anchored by Nick Bosa (NFL-best 14.5 sacks) and Fred Warner, the 49ers always limit the damage. In fact, heading into that Dolphins game, San Francisco hadn't allowed a second-half point since October 30th. Guess what the defense is starting to do as well? Create turnovers. The Niners have created eight turnovers in their last three games. That's a dangerous aspect for any opponent to deal with, specifically when you're dealing with San Francisco's offensive weapons.
Bonus: Brock Purdy: Colin Cowherd mentions the simplicity of Shanahan's offense often. There's also a point he made recently about Purdy being Garappolo-lite, with the only difference being his mobility. If you're a Niner fan, you're getting the same product. So why fret? Unless he collapses outright, Purdy will be fine.