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Garoppolo: 49ers focusing on finishing in red zone

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The San Francisco 49ers famously went 5-0 with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback in 2017. There were few complaints about the experience, but the nitpicking quarterback found one: red zone efficiency.

"I think a big part for us, as a whole, offensively is just finishing in the end zone," Garoppolo said Wednesday, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay Area.

"Last year we got stopped short a couple of times, more than we'd like to. And I think we've done a good job in OTAs and minicamp of finishing in the end zone, for the most part. Finishing drives and stuff like that."

The 49ers scored points on 60 percent of Garoppolo's drives, per NFL Research, almost doubling the 2017 league average. The Patriots, for comparison, scored on 52.8 percent of Tom Brady's drives.

The converse point to the above statistic -- beyond sample size -- is that most of those scoring drives were field goals.

In Jimmy G's first start of the season the Niners were 0-of-5 in converting red zone possessions into field goals. In 24 trips inside the 20-yard line in Garoppolo's five starts, San Francisco scored 11 TDs, settled for 12 field goals and the quarterback threw one interception.

"Those are point plays," Garoppolo said. "They're either seven-point plays or three-point plays. You know what I mean? Those are the ones that really matter."

The return of receiver Pierre Garcon from injury and increased usage of tight ends Garrett Celek and George Kittle could aid the Niners' pass offense in the compressed area of the field. The 49ers also hope a full offseason in Kyle Shanahan's offense will help Jimmy G turn those field goals into touchdowns.

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