Garop­polo and Carr haven’t shined so far

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - SPORTINGGREEN - ANN KILLION

Af­ter one game, is it too early to re­think our great quar­ter­back hopes?

We thought that this might be the sea­son. The rare sea­son when both the Raiders and 49ers would have stel­lar quar­ter­back­ing. When we would get the op­por­tu­nity to com­pare and con­trast styles and yardage and touch­downs and lead­er­ship and all of the in­tan­gi­bles that go into the most im­por­tant po­si­tion in foot­ball.

For all the years they’ve played on ei­ther side of the San Fran­cisco Bay — and this could be the very last one — the two lo­cal teams have rarely both had elite quar­ter­back­ing in the same sea­son.

We thought this could be the ex­cep­tional year, with Jimmy Garop­polo play­ing a full sea­son for of­fen­sive whiz kid Kyle Shana­han in San Fran­cisco and Derek Carr be­ing tu­tored by quar­ter­back whis­perer Jon Gru­den in Oak­land.

One week is way, way, way too early to make any as­sump­tions. But the Year of the Quar­ter­back got off to quite a rocky start. Garop­polo and Carr each threw three in­ter­cep­tions in a loss, each threw a pick-six, and they com­bined for one touch­down pass (Garop­polo’s to Dante Pet­tis).

The play­ers fin­ished the first week ranked No. 31 and No. 32 in league quar­ter­back ratings. Only Detroit’s Matt Stafford and be­lea­guered Nathan Peter­man fin­ished lower (there were 34 rated quar­ter­backs be­cause of the Peter­man disas­ter in Buf­falo and be­cause Mar­cus Mar­i­ota left the Ten­nessee game, giv-

27 in Novem­ber. Both were drafted in the sec­ond round in 2014. While Carr has far more ex­pe­ri­ence — 55 more games started than Garop­polo — each is the high­est-paid player, by a long shot, on his team. Garop­polo’s con­tract av­er­ages $27.5 mil­lion per year, Carr’s $25 mil­lion.

That puts more fo­cus and pres­sure on both men. And all the par­al­lels make for easy points of com­par­i­son.

You have to go back to 2001 for the last time both the Raiders and the 49ers had quar­ter­backs rated in the top 10 in the league. That year Rich Gan­non clocked in at No. 2 and Jeff Gar­cia at No. 3.

While passer rat­ing is an im­per­fect statis­tic, one that many foot­ball ob­servers don’t like for var­i­ous rea­sons, it does pro­vide a mea­sure of a quar­ter­back’s ef­fi­ciency and con­sis­tency, es­pe­cially over a sea­son. It’s the way the league de­ter­mines the quar­ter­back leader for the sea­son. And in com­par­ing the 49ers and the Raiders, it usu­ally shows ex­actly what we al­ready know to be true.

The teams started shar­ing the Bay Area in 1960. At the time, John Brodie was the pre­em­i­nent quar­ter­back. In 1970, when the leagues merged, Brodie was the top-rated quar­ter­back but Daryle La­mon­ica, the Raiders’ starter, was at No. 8. (The rat­ing statis­tic wasn’t added un­til 1973, but ratings be­fore that have been cal­cu­lated retroac­tively.) In the fol­low­ing years, La­mon­ica and then Ken Stabler were among the league’s best, while the 49ers lost their way.

When Joe Mon­tana took over for the 49ers, he was ranked in the top 10 ev­ery year as a starter, while the Oak­land/Los An­ge­les Raiders were er­ratic ( Jim Plun­kett won two Su­per Bowls but wasn’t among the league’s top-rated quar­ter­backs ei­ther sea­son).

While the Raiders were in Los An­ge­les, the 49ers con­tin­ued an un­prece­dented run of dom­i­nance at quar­ter­back; af­ter Mon­tana, Steve Young was the league’s top-rated quar­ter­back in six out of his eight years as a starter.

But then, af­ter Gan­non’s stretch from 1999 to 2002, which co­in­cided with two years of Gar­cia in the top 10, the teams have fallen on bar­ren years. Only Colin Kaeper­nick cracked the top 10 in the past 15 sea­sons — at No. 7 in 2013. The 21st cen­tury has not been great for Bay Area NFL quar­ter­backs.

Which is why it would be fun to see some ex­cel­lence this sea­son.

Carr is def­i­nitely car­ry­ing more pres­sure than rel­a­tive new­comer Garop­polo. He was in the MVP con­ver­sa­tion just two sea­sons ago but hasn’t looked right since. Gain­ing Gru­den as a coach only raises ex­pec­ta­tions.

As does the as­tound­ing trade of Khalil Mack. Gru­den’s stance has ba­si­cally been that, hey, we had to pick be­tween Carr and Mack, fi­nan­cially, and so Mack be­came ex­pend­able. If Carr con­tin­ues to strug­gle, that will look like an even worse de­ci­sion than it does now. And it cur­rently looks ter­ri­ble.

The Mack deal con­tin­ues to ex­as­per­ate: Gru­den said on “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” that “Ob­vi­ously, Khalil Mack didn’t want to play here.” That di­rectly con­tra­dicts Mack’s own words from just a few months ago.

Gru­den has all the power and the play­ers know it. If he wanted Mack, why didn’t he reach out to him with his fa­mous charm and per­suade him that the the Raiders would work some­thing out. Mack told “Sun­day Night Foot­ball” — be­fore his mon­ster, eye-pop­ping game — that a per­sonal call from Gru­den would have made a dif­fer­ence. In­stead Gru­den played chicken with a guy un­der con­tract and lost.

And Gru­den hasn’t helped things with his postgame anal­y­sis: “Ob­vi­ously we didn’t get to ( Jared) Goff enough, we didn’t get to (Todd) Gur­ley enough. We’ll take a good look at rea­sons why.” I think ev­ery Raider ob­server knows the top rea­son why.

Week 2 looks a bit eas­ier for Garop­polo. Though Detroit was em­bar­rassed on “Mon­day Night Foot­ball,” new coach Matt Pa­tri­cia cer­tainly knows Garop­polo well from their time to­gether in New Eng­land.

Carr, whose team shed Mack and then faced Aaron Don­ald in Week 1, goes up against Den­ver’s Von Miller, com­plet­ing the tri­fecta of the high­est­paid de­fen­sive play­ers in the league. Carr has been sacked 16 times in seven ca­reer games against the Broncos.

It’s only Week 2. We’ll see if our hoped-for Year of the Quar­ter­back can get back on track.

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