That is exactly what has happened this preseason, and although Lance’s performance in training camp has been a mixed bag, there is plenty of reason for optimism surrounding the new era in the Bay.
Many around the NFL not only feel Lance will be a good signal-caller but that he also has a strong chance of leading the 49ers back to the Super Bowl.
But one former superstar QB thinks the team made a mistake in transitioning to Lance so soon.
Brett Favre, the former face of the Green Bay Packers, thinks San Francisco should’ve kept Garoppolo under center for at least one more season.
“My personal opinion, I would go with Jimmy Garoppolo,” Favre said recently. “He’s not as flashy, not near as flashy. He wasn’t their first-round pick. And no offense toward Trey Lance, but what Jimmy has done is win and win, win, win again. Not flashy.”
Favre is right in the sense that Garoppolo has done a good amount of winning with the Niners, as he has a 31-14 record as their starter.
However, he has failed to get them over the hump and deliver a Super Bowl championship, and therein lies the heart of the reason they have decided to roll the dice on Lance.
Garoppolo Has Been Good, But Not Good Enough
In 2017, the 49ers were a couple of years removed from the end of a nice run.
They had reached the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship Game the following year, but they didn’t bring home any hardware.
But when the Niners traded for Garoppolo midway through the 2017 campaign, they became relevant again.
They won each of their five games that year with him under center, and with an innovative new head coach in Kyle Shanahan, it was only a matter of time before they would find their way out of the wilderness.
4-0 as the starting QB of the #49ers.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 26, 2017
The 2019 season was Garoppolo’s first full season with San Francisco (he missed most of the 2018 season with a torn ACL), and he led it to the Super Bowl, where it held a sizable late lead over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, only to lose 31-20.
Last season, after the 49ers started 3-5, Garoppolo righted the ship and got them back to the playoffs, where they advanced to the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Again, San Francisco led in the fourth quarter, but Garoppolo didn’t deliver in crunch time, and the Rams went on to the Super Bowl, which they won over the Cincinnati Bengals.
THE RAMS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! Jimmy Garoppolo INT to Travin Howard. pic.twitter.com/tbcVCOWVzV
— OutInTheField (@OutInTheField1) January 31, 2022
The 49ers aren’t just one of the winningest teams in NFL history, but in the history of all four major team sports in our nation, and therefore, for them, being a winner doesn’t just mean winning a lot of regular season games, it also means winning a world championship.
They haven’t done so since the 1994 season when Steve Young had a monster year and proved he was a clutch, Hall of Fame QB.
Unfortunately, Garoppolo simply isn’t made of the same stuff as Young or Joe Montana.