While Kyle Shanahan has been steadfast in starting Jimmy Garoppolo in the San Francisco 49ers’ week one matchup against the Detroit Lions, Trey Lance’s 49ers debut has given a showing good enough to put some doubt into head coach Shanahan’s mind.
Lance was both hot and cold in his 49ers debut, which saw them lose 19-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium, where he initially looked to have the keys to the newly nicknamed ‘Trey Area’ but then struggled as the game continued.
Trey Lance shows his skills after just his second pass attempt
Despite the rookie’s first NFL preseason drive only lasting three plays with Lance already having to show his toughness after taking a sack from Chiefs’ Chris Jones, the 21-year-old showed incredible poise on a play-action throw to Trent Sherfield for an 80-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the first quarter.
TREY LANCE WITH AN 80-YARD STRIKE 😤
— ESPN (@espn) August 15, 2021
Another highlight came midway through the second quarter – with Lance backed up to his own 1-yard line, a 34-yard pass to tight end Charlie Woerner meant the Niners would get some much-needed breathing room on their drive.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 15, 2021
However, Lance completed just 5-of-14 passing attempts for 128 yards with a single passing touchdown and a 93.8 passer rating. In the game, Lance was sacked four times – not a number the 49ers want to replicate. Then again, one must consider his offensive line was a make-shift unit out of first and second-team linemen.
Head coach and quarterback competition speak highly on Lance’s 49ers debut
Kyle Shanahan’s Take
Following the game, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about Lance’s debut. No, it was not a perfect outing for the rookie. Nevertheless, that is exactly what the 49ers coaches were looking for.
“Yeah, there was some good and some bad. By no means was he perfect, there was a few spots where we’d like him to throw to different places, a couple balls where I think he’d like to have them back.
“He also come out pretty good to though, making the right plays and getting the right spots. He had a couple of drops, especially on 3rd down and I think he definitely could’ve kept the drive going but it was a good first day.
“I didn’t want him in perfect form. We’d like to have some things for him to learn from and there’s a lot of things we can go over tomorrow.”
Trey Lance’s Take
Lance said he knew that there were some plays left out on the field, but that happens to every rookie. It is about learning, and rectifying them in the next game.
“The plays that were called were really really good ones, but I didn’t make every play tonight. I left some pretty big ones out there that I noticed, and the coaches noticed so for me, it was frustrating.
“I’m super excited to go back and watch the tapes and learn from everything I did wrong, and super excited for next week.”
He also spoke about just how good it felt getting his first-ever NFL touchdown pass.
“Yeah, it was super exciting. That’s the moment you dream of when you score your first touchdown, even though it’s preseason, it’s still pretty cool. It was for sure a special moment.”
Whilst Lance’s quarterback competition Jimmy Garoppolo’s plays were limited, he didn’t do much with what he was given. Coming into the game, it was known that Garoppolo would only play one series before Lance came in. While completing all three pass attempts for 28 yards isn’t terrible, Garoppolo certainly would’ve liked to make more of a statement with his reps.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s Take
Garoppolo commented on how he was impressed by Lance in his NFL debut. Especially considering that today was all about soaking the atmosphere in.
“It’s so great to have the 49er Faithful back and it’s the first preseason game so I was looking forward to watching how he [Lance] played, and I think he did really well.
“It’s all about learning and we’re still in training camp mode so it’ll be back to the film room this week.
“[The 80-yard touchdown] was awesome, it was so awesome. We kind of expected it because we knew the play, but I was watching Trey the whole time. He just broke the guy off and he just put a beautiful pass out there and it was really cool to see.”
The next time Lance and Garoppolo take to the field will be Sunday, August 30th against the Los Angeles Chargers in the SoFi Stadium.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images