5 significant takeaways from 49ers preseason win vs. Chargers

Travis Benjamin #17 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates his touchdown with Trey Lance #5 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Travis Benjamin #17 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates his touchdown with Trey Lance #5 (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers upended the Chargers in preseason action, but the bigger focus was on Trey Lance and a number of other factors that stood out in the game.

Even if it’s the preseason, it’s always nice to see the San Francisco 49ers take home a victory.

This time, the first of the 2021 campaign — a 15-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers that showed plenty of promise from a number of different units but also revealed some notable questions and concerns heading towards the regular season.

True, the Niners defense didn’t have to face off against the Bolts’ stellar second-year quarterback, Justin Herbert, who won’t play this preseason. Yet head coach Kyle Shanahan also elected not to play a number of San Francisco’s starters, too, resulting in a mixed group of offensive and defensive players not typically accustomed to playing with each other.

Especially during the first half.

Nevertheless, the 49ers got on the scoreboard first with a safety on Chargers backup quarterback Easton Stick by defensive end Jordan Willis, only to see the Bolts reclaim the lead, thanks to rookie quarterback Trey Lance‘s first interception thrown during an NFL game.

Lance was the big focal point, of course. And while both he and the veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, had shaky starts to their on-field efforts, it was the rookie who ultimately came away with the impressive effort that gave the Niners the lead for good.

So, not surprisingly, Lance’s comeback is first among our five postgame takeaways.

No. 5: 49ers saw Trey Lance overcome adversity in a positive manner

It’s an important part of any rookie quarterback’s development, learning to bounce back from a scuffling performance.

Early on, that was happening. At one point in the game, Lance was 1-of-5 with an interception thrown and a 0.0 passer rating. True, he was dogged by more drops by his receiving targets (more on that in a second), but Lance still looked a little overwhelmed by the speed of the game.

Fortunately, with less than a minute before halftime, Lance responded with a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 5-yard score to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.


Two drives later, Lance engineered an elongated 11-play, 63-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown to wide receiver Travis Benjamin that gave San Francisco the lead.

Lance’s final line before being pulled was 8-of-14 for 102 yards, the two touchdowns against an interception for an 89.9 passer rating, although he was dogged by three drops, including the one that led to his tossed pick.

More importantly, Lance didn’t let the early pressure of floundering get to him, bouncing back in a way both he and the 49ers needed.