Trey Lance is further from starting after 49ers loss to Chiefs

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Trey Lance came out firing in his NFL preseason debut but quickly came down to earth as the 49ers look ahead to the Chargers.

An 80-yard rocket for the San Francisco 49ers‘ first touchdown of the 2021 inaugural preseaon game was the only major highlight for quarterback Trey Lance in his NFL debut. The rookie looked relatively mediocre for much of the game thereafter, which will set him back just a bit in his bid to become the starter.

We all know Lance wasn’t going to be the guy right out of the gate. Veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo still has control of this team, and it’s his to lose. Jimmy G was perfect on three throws in his one series with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been a bit wishy-washy when it comes to playing time for both quarterbacks. At first, it seemed like, barring an injury, Garoppolo was going to take 100 percent of the offensive snaps, but Shanahan recently said they’ll insert Lance with some packages.

Trey Lance rookie mistakes

Lance’s stats would certainly look better if his receivers hung onto the ball. The rookie’s first pass to receiver Brandon Aiyuk was dropped, and it seemed to be the norm as the players get back into game action.

The third overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, showed he’s still young and is going to be prone to mistakes. It’s a testament to his age and inexperience. His second sack with 13:41 remaining in the first half attests to it. He had running back Wayne Gallman II on a quick slant across the middle.

Now, the Kansas City Chiefs sent a blitz with pressure to Lance’s blindside, but with a bit more experience he would’ve seen his open running back and could’ve avoided the loss of yards.

Despite some dropped passes, Lance tried to force some passes into tight coverage. Especially as the second quarter came to the end, Lance was starting to force the issue by showing off his rocket arm.

Read More: Why Kyle Shanahan didn’t let Trey Lance run wild vs. Chiefs

Fortunately, no harm was done. But there could be problems if he tries to press the issue in a regular-season game against a stout defense.

From 49ers senior team reporter Keiana Martin, Shanahan talked about the rookie getting too excited playing his first game in over a year:

"He enjoys playing. He’s only been able to play one game in over a year. But I think it was good for him to get out. I think he started out good. He got a little excited sometimes, which he does. When you get a little excited, your technique and stuff, you lose, which will be fun to watch with him. Trey’s a guy who’s tough on himself and loves to correct things. And since we’ve had him, he’s been very good at correcting mistakes."

It’s these little things that prove he isn’t quite ready to take over the starting role.

Don’t expect to see Lance starting a regular-season game anytime soon, assuming Garoppolo stays healthy. Lance still has lots of room to grow and should be a lot more polished as the 49ers take on the Los Angeles Chargers in their second preseason game.

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