Richard Sherman doesn't want to hear anything regarding the San Francisco 49ers losing Super Bowl 54 on account of Jimmy Garoppolo. Not under his watch. The Pro Bowl cornerback was adamant in his defense of Garoppolo while making his first public comments since speaking after the 49ers fourth-quarter collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
"It's just barber shop talk. It's just something to have a topic. It's just foolish," Sherman said on 104.5 KNBR radio Wednesday, per the Sacramento Bee. "... When you hear them blaming Jimmy, Jimmy doesn't play defense. We had a 10-point lead. We get the guy a stop, we win the game.
Sherman took the blame for one of the key plays in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. He was in coverage when Sammy Watkins beat him for a 38-yard catch on second-and-7 with San Francisco up 20-17 with 3:44 left. Three plays later, Patrick Mahomes found Damien Williams for a five-yard touchdown to give Kansas City a 24-20 lead with 2:50 to play -- a lead the Chiefs took for good.
The 49ers were outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter after entering the final quarter with a 10-point lead. Garoppolo finished 20 of 31 for 219 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the loss, but he was just 3 of 11 for 36 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter (2.8 passer rating). The key miss was an incompletion to a wide-open Emmanuel Sanders on an X-post that would have given San Francisco the lead with 1:49 to play.
By all statistical accounts, Garoppolo had a good season for the 49ers in his first full season as a starting quarterback. The 49ers went 13-3 as Garoppolo started all 16 games, completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 102.0 passer rating. His fourth-quarter performancerather than an indictment on his play.
"Jimmy played fine. He did what he was supposed to do," Sherman said. "We got to finish that game out. I got to finish that game out. I got to do what I'm supposed to do. I'm an All-Pro player, I got to play All-Pro down the stretch.
"I think, along with other leaders on the team, we would defend him vigorously because that had nothing to do with him."