Trey Lance made his first NFL start on Sunday. He is the man the San Francisco 49ers traded their future for, the man who is to be the franchise QB, the man who probably needed a little more time, but Jimmy Garoppolo has a calf injury and the NFL is next man up. So he was the man under center.
“I thought he did some really good things,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. “Definitely wasn’t perfect, which no one ever has been. That first pick I thought just sailed on him, he was going to the right spot, but it just got away from him on that first drive. Overall, I think we could have done a little bit better around him. I thought he did good enough to win.”
Narrator: He did do good enough to win, as did the 49ers defense who held Kyler Murray and the Cardinals No. 1 offense to 17 points and 304 net yards. But the offense could not capitalize.
“He was poised, he was confident, and I feel Trey gave us a chance to win,” Trent Williams said.
It is worth noting that they were also without tight end George Kittle, who went on Injured Reserve Saturday with a calf injury.
“We could easily be sitting at 5-0 right now,” said left tackle Trent Williams. We’re not, we’re 2-3…This game was here for the taking the whole time. We just didn’t take advantage of that.”
Trey Lance was 15-of-29 for 192 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception and a rating of 58.4 in San Francisco’s 17-10 loss to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. Was his accuracy perfect? Far from it and he had multiple passes batted down.
Lance ran the ball 16 times for 89 hards, averaging 5.6 yards per run, and he got drilled like a million times on those runs, even losing his helmet once.
“Just trying to move the chains,” Lance said after the game.
Most of the game, he looked like a better runner than passer, but it’s there. It just might not be there yet.
“It was fun to watch,” said 49ers DE Nick Bosa, who had one sack, two tackles for loss and two QB hits. “He definitely runs the ball hard. He might need to learn how to slide…He might need to work on his juke move, too.” Who among us, really?
Shanahan said after the game that Jimmy Garoppolo remains the 49ers’ QB1.
“Nothing has changed, that was just one game,” Kyle Shanahan said. “It was a tough loss, right there. I’ll talk to our whole team tomorrow and think of how we can get our whole team better coming back from the bye.”
On a run on 4th-and-goal, Lance was hit by three Cardinals’ defenders before running into linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who was shaken up and later evaluated for a concussion. Lance was sacked twice and hit five additional times while in the pocket.
Lance was the victim of multiple dropped passes, including two from Deebo Samuel and one from Mohamed Sanu. The rookie QB got the 49ers into Cardinals territory on multiple occasions, but San Francisco’s five offensive holding penalties in the second half stalled those drives.
The 49ers went for it on fourth down five times. They converted once. Their only touchdown was 13-yarder from Deebo Samuel and 47-yard FG from kicker Joey Slye. CB Dontae Johnson had a huge forced fumble to give the 49ers a chance at points in the fourth quarter, but they could not capitalize.
And so, San Francisco heads into its bye week having lost three in a row, including back-to-back division games. It’s time for some soul-searching, before the season gets away from them.