After losing 10 of their first 11 games, the San Francisco 49ers have managed to win three consecutive games. After acquiring Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots at the trade deadline, the 49ers have experienced a newfound sense of emotion, as well as a reason to strive for success. With the foundations in place for a new era of success in San Francisco, Garoppolo and the 49ers are trending more than ever upward and could experience sustained success in the years to come.
Even though Jimmy Garoppolo is at the forefront of the surging 49ers offense, Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin is proving to be the most important cog in the wheel for San Francisco. Goodwin has proved to be the most reliable target for Garoppolo over the past three weeks, as he has been able to accumulate the best three-game stretch of his career in the three games since Garoppolo took over the starting Quarterback duties for San Francisco.
Over the past three weeks, Goodwin has been able to set career highs in targets, routes, snaps, receptions, and yards per game. Although Goodwin has not been able to reach the end zone, he has proved himself to be one of Garoppolo’s high priority targets in scoring situations. While the tandem of Goodwin and Garoppolo still has a long way to go before they can be considered one of the top duos in the NFL, the cornerstones for success are in place, and the 49ers are virtually on the edge of a historic turnaround.
However, Marquise Goodwin’s journey to the NFL was neither normal nor usual. In the summer of 2012, Goodwin couldn’t be further away from an NFL field. In fact, his hiatus from football allowed him to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he represented Team USA in the long jump event, finishing tenth overall in the field of 40, and just 1.04 feet away from a Bronze medal. Following the London Games, Goodwin turned his attention towards his football career permanently as he returned to the University of Texas, leading the Longhorns to a championship over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Goodwin would be drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 78th overall pick in the 2013 draft, the following Spring.
After three years of mediocre stagnation in Buffalo, Goodwin was finally able to bloom with the 49ers, as San Francisco’s surging offense has helped elevate Goodwin to the national spotlight. However, Marquise Goodwin’s road to stardom has been laden with hardship and tragedy as the veteran receiver’s losses on the field could never compare to the losses he experienced off the field.
On November 11, just hours prior to the 49ers’ Week 10 matchup with the New York Giants, Goodwin lost his infant son due to complications during pregnancy. Only one month later, Goodwin’s father passed away prior to last Sunday’s contest with Tennessee. The 49ers won both games, while Goodwin set personal records for receptions and yards in both games.
Even through unthinkable tragedy, Marquise Goodwin has been able to carry the 49ers to victory in four of their last five games, and in the process, has become a modern hero for a team that now finds itself only a few steps away from true success.