For the San Francisco 49ers, the preseason is over, and it’s now time for them to prepare for the start of the regular season.
They will begin the schedule on Sept. 11 versus the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and as many have anticipated for months, Trey Lance will be starting for them at the quarterback spot.
He got some playing time in two of the three preseason games, and although he wasn’t perhaps dominant, he showed flashes of being a solid, if not a great signal-caller.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he would’ve loved to get Lance some more preparation for the regular season, but he also said the second-year man is “as ready to go as he can be” for Week 1.
““I would love to get Trey more practice and everything and more experience, so I would always want more of that, but we’ve run out of those games and he’s as ready to go as he can be,” said Shanahan.
Pardon the old cliche, but for the 49ers, the future is now, and they will move ahead with the chutzpah needed to take a calculated risk on Lance rather than go with the good-but-not-great Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance Was Somewhat Of A Mixed Bag In The Preseason
Lance, according to various reports, looked good at times during intrasquad scrimmages, especially with his accuracy, but there were a few days where he struggled and threw too many interceptions or failed to connect with his receivers on manageable plays.
Some of those negatives are to be expected for a man who made only two starts as a rookie.
During the Niners’ first preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers, Lance played two series in the first quarter and was rock solid.
He converted 4-of-5 passes, which included a long bomb that was right on the money to rookie wide receiver Danny Gray and led to an immediate touchdown.
TREY AREA 🗣
Lance finds Danny Gray for the 76-yard TD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 13, 2022
On an earlier play, Lance faced multiple defenders who were converging on him, and he made his way out of the pocket, then ran and slid for a seven-yard gain that almost got his team a first down.
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) August 14, 2022
On Thursday, he played in his second preseason game, and he didn’t look as promising as he did in his first contest.
He accumulated just 49 passing yards, was sacked once and threw no touchdown passes as San Francisco lost to the Houston Texans 17-0.
The positive: He was 7-of-11 overall and didn’t throw a single interception.
As per the norm in NFL preseason games, Shanahan gave his first-stringers very limited playing time in all three contests.
Look For Shanahan To Keep Things Simple For Lance Early On
The 49ers, for many years now, have won with a combination of a ball-control offense that relies heavily on running the football and a strong defense.
As a result, Lance won’t have to do a whole lot to get them lots of wins, and one should expect Shanahan to limit what he does.
Expect lots of touches for the Niners’ running backs, as well as plenty of short-to-medium range passes in order to limit mistakes and turnovers that could dent Lance’s confidence.
Since their first two games are against likely non-playoff teams in the Bears and Seattle Seahawks, it’s the perfect opportunity for Shanahan to ease Lance in and make things easier on him.