49ers depth chart: 3 reasons Jimmy Garoppolo must be Week 1 starter

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Trey Lance isn’t quite ready to start for 49ers just yet

Back to the initial observations of Trey Lance.

There was the 80-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver Trent Sherfield everyone is now talking about. Even before, on his first pass attempt, Lance hit fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk through a tight window in stride, only to see Aiyuk drop the ball.

Other moments, too, stood out. And we have yet to see Kyle Shanahan allow Lance to use his legs.

All told, a 5-of-14 mark for 128 yards and the touchdown didn’t reveal the entire story, which also included four drops by his receivers but also omits the four sacks Lance took.

FanSided’s Matt Verderame also put this into perspective with a non-bias look:

"Lance’s second throw was an 80-yard, cross-field touchdown strike. After that, he had a few nice throws dropped, but there was some ugliness. Facing the Kansas City Chiefs, Lance was under duress much of his two quarters, being sacked four times. However, even when he had time, the heir apparent to Jimmy Garoppolo showed sloppy footwork and accompanying inaccuracy. That said, the arm and athleticism are there. Watching Lance, it’s easy to see the best plan of attack. San Francisco should play Garoppolo and allow the youngster to master his footwork, understand a new playbook and learn from a veteran … much like Patrick Mahomes did as a rookie."

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It’s hard to disagree.

At least two of Lance’s sacks should rest on his shoulders for responsibility. He failed to recognize the blitz on one and effectively ran into another. Even a third might be considered Lance’s fault.

When the game got a little rushed for him late in the second quarter and early in the third, Lance’s inexperience also showed. He nearly tossed an interception just before halftime while staring down wide receiver Jauan Jennings despite there being an open target to his right.

Again, things that’ll come in time. Remember, Lance attempted only 318 passes in college. That’s not a lot.

Lance will be starting before too long. But bringing him along properly and not rushing him into the fray, thereby allowing Jimmy Garoppolo to start the season, is the route the Niners should take when the regular season commences.

And that’s OK.

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