SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Off the field, of that No. 10 uniform that is becoming fashionable around here, Jimmy Garoppolo barely stands out as the star of the San Francisco 49ers.

Underestimated in an open denim button with sleeves rolled up over a white T-shirt, he made his way through the tunnels of Levi's stadium to loud cries of "Jimmy!" And "Yay, Jim!"

It could very well have been his teammates and coaches who applauded, so happy they are to have Garoppolo on board.

The Niners needed three tries this season and finally found their quarterback of the future, and now. They have won three consecutive games in the comeback, with Garoppolo under center.

He pitched for a career-best 381 yards and a touchdown, Robbie Gould kicked a 45-yard field goal winner as time expired, and San Francisco beat the Tennessee Titans 25-23 on Sunday, giving the 49ers (4-10) their first streak of three consecutive victories since 2014.

"It's good to be in these close games," said Garoppolo. "There are different ways to win in this league, it's not always going to be nice."

He even beat Marcus Mariota in the final stretch when the teams exchanged field goals. Mariota threw for 241 yards with two touchdowns while completing 23 of 33 passes, but Tennessee (8-6) lost its second out to the west.

"We left Nashville first in our division and now we have lost two in a row," said Mariota. "We have to take what we learned and recover."

The first-year 49ers coach, Kyle Shanahan, studied the entire Garoppolo film, back to the college days of the quarterback in Eastern Illinois. He knew very well about his tutelage under Tom Brady in the successful New England system.

Now, Shanahan is seeing it with his own eyes.

"He always looked good on the tape," Shanahan said. "… You expect to see that every week, but you never know until you start playing, it's been as good as advertised, if not better."

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 passes to overcome the 300 passing yards. the second consecutive game after last week's victory in Houston.

He became the first 49ers quarterback since the 1970 merger to win each of his first three starts and only the second quarterback in franchise history. ALREADY. Tittle did it covering the 1951-52 seasons.

Garoppolo threw a 5-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to tight end Garrett Celek, whose big play in recent weeks has earned him the nickname "Celek Time." Celek later had a 41-yard catch.

"It's a lot of fun, football at the end of the day is a game of small children that mature men can play," said Garoppolo. "I have the privilege of doing it every day."

Here are some things from Sunday's game:


Tennessee stayed in Arizona to practice after last week's road loss to the Cardinals before playing the 49ers. Two disappointing losses to the NFC West could cost coach Mike Mularkey's team a place in the playoffs, though the Titans now go home for their last two games: against the Rams and the Jaguars.

"We have the opportunity to continue participating in the playoffs, we have to win at home with two games we have," said Mularkey. "… Exactly how you would feel if you lost in the last play of the game is how you feel now, you will get over it, what you have in the past."


Gould treats every field goal attempt as his own playoff chase, just as the 49ers vowed to do over the past few weeks as they try to impact the positioning of their opponents.

Gould did his part with that great kicking foot. He made another six field goals on Sunday, three in the last nine minutes that included the winner of the 45-yard game as time expired. He has converted 20 straight innings and is 36 out of 38.

"We talked about beating a playoff team," he said. "That team is in search of the playoffs."


Marquise Goodwin already played a game last month after losing his premature child. Then, last week, he dealt with the death of his father.

Goodwin took the field on Sunday and did 10 catches for 114 yards in another spectacular performance.

Playing with Garoppolo does not hurt.

"It's just very in tune with everyone, it's crazy," Goodwin said. "I do not think I've ever played with anyone like him, if you look, my route may have been a good route and maybe not, but I do not have to run a perfect route." [19659008] ___

To get more coverage from the NFL: and

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.