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Niners' Jimmy Garoppolo on critics: 'I hear all the stuff'

The San Francisco 49ers haven't needed Jimmy Garoppolo to pass the ball much at all this postseason. The Niners have thrown so little through two postseason games it's become a callback to the 1970s.

With 27 passing attempts through two playoff games -- including just eight in the NFC Championship Game walloping of Green Bay -- Garoppolo became the third QB to lead his team to the Super Bowl with two or more starts and fewer than 30 pass attempts that postseason (entering Super Bowl). The others: Hall of Famer Bob Griese with the 1973 Dolphins and Earl Morrall with the 1972 Dolphins (Griese returned from injury and started Super Bowl VII).

The 27 passing attempts mean Jimmy G doesn't even meet the 14 pass attempts per game threshold to be considered a qualified passer this postseason.

Using such quirky numbers could just be a way to point out how dominant the 49ers' run game has been that Kyle Shanahan didn't need to employ the pass. Garoppolo, however, chooses to see it as a slight, building any comment into motivation to prove doubters wrong.

In short, he's pulling a page from Richard Sherman's playbook.

"Everyone has different ways to get motivated, and very similar to Sherm, I do the same thing," Garoppolo said, via ESPN. "I hear all the stuff and everything, but you can't put that all out there all the time. You have to do with it what you will and take it for what it is. Just at the end of the day, you've got to go out there and play football."

Enough people are questioning whether Shanahan consciously took the ball out of Garoppolo's hands after a near-INT in the second half of the Divisional Round that Jimmy G using it as motivation isn't even eye-roll worthy.

Here is a peculiar stat heading into the Super Bowl, from NFL Research: Patrick Mahomes has more pass yards (209) and passing touchdowns (5) in the second quarter of two playoff games than Garoppolo (208 yards, 1 touchdown) has in two complete games this postseason.

Garoppolo has not attempted 30-plus passes in a game since Dec. 15 against Atlanta, a last-second loss. He has averaged 19.0 pass attempts per game since then (4 games, 4-0 W-L). By Super Bowl LIV, it will have been 49 days since Garoppolo threw 30-plus passes in a game (56 instances of QBs throwing 30-plus passes in a game since then).

Teammates scoff at the numbers being anything other than coincidental.

"We've had plenty of games this season where we've really had to lean on him heavily to win the games for us, and he's come through every single time," left tackle Joe Staley said. "I think that's a storyline because we didn't throw the ball obviously the last game, but we didn't need to. I think that's also a strength of Kyle, is that he's going to do whatever it takes to win the game. And whatever he feels is working the best, is what we're going to do.

"That doesn't fall on Jim's shoulders at all. It's a complete team effort. And I think that's another example of this team being very selfless in what we're doing, is that you have the quarterback could care less if he throws 500 yards or if he throws for 10. He just wants to win the game, and the whole entire team is like that."

When asked to throw this season, Garoppolo has had his share of turnovers, but he's also made big-time throws in big spots. Go back and watch the win in New Orleans again if you need a refresher.

Garoppolo enters next week's game sporting the highest win percentage of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era (.821).

In 2019, Jimmy G was the only QB to rank top five in completion percentage (69.1, fifth), pass yards per attempt (8.4; third), and pass TDs (27; tied for fifth).

It's a fact that Garoppolo has averaged 144.6 fewer pass YPG in the playoffs in 2019. In order to get a "fewer" count, however, there must have been something in the bag to begin with. Garoppolo compiled enough moments in the regular season that his team isn't fretting whether he can come alive if needed in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LIV details

When is the Super Bowl? Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Where is the Super Bowl? Hard Rock Stadium will host the game in 2020, marking Miami's 11th time as Super Bowl host city.

*How to watch the Super Bowl: Tune in on Fox, with the NFL App, Yahoo Sports App, and on NFL.com. Check out more updates and info here. *

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