49ers vs. Chargers: Winners, losers from preseason Week 2 win

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers pulled off a 15-10 preseason win over the Chargers on Sunday, and Niner Noise breaks down the biggest winners and losers.

If you tuned into the late portion of the first quarter between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 of the 2021 preseason, then watched through until roughly a minute before halftime, you were probably exposed to comments out there in the social world reading that rookie quarterback Trey Lance is going to be a bust.

Maybe you were one of those who made such comments on Twitter, Facebook or on message boards anywhere.

However, if you stuck it through or picked up the game just before halftime and then continued watching into the third quarter, Lance looks like the real deal and the first long-time Niners quarterback in decades.

Perspective matters. So does timing.

Lance’s shaky start, which included his first NFL interception, was offset by his two impressive touchdown drives, one on a beautifully executed two-minute drill before halftime and another on an elongated 11-play drive in the third quarter that also found the end zone.

Despite throwing the pick and continuing to deal with drops by his receivers, Lance bounced back nicely.

And that puts him atop our list of biggest winners and losers from San Francisco’s 15-10 exhibition win over the Bolts.

49ers Winner: Quarterback Trey Lance

Had Lance’s trajectory against Los Angeles continued after tossing his interception, followed by shaky play, overthrows and inconclusive reaction against the pass rush, it would be easy to brand him as a loser.

Lance’s final line was 8-of-14 for 102 yards, two touchdowns, the interception and an 89.9 passer rating. But as was the case in Week 1 of the preseason, drops plagued the No. 3 overall NFL Draft pick, bringing his total to seven over these two weeks.

Related Story: Trey Lance isn’t getting a lot of help from his receivers this preseason

The most for any quarterback in the league thus far.

But the big kicker is Lance bouncing back from the adversity, which is a necessary part of his development. Things aren’t always going to go the quarterback’s way, and how he responds to challenges is a vital element to Lance’s maturation process.

Even to the point where head coach Kyle Shanahan somewhat elusively said there’ll be no decision on a Week 1 starter at this point, distancing himself from the prior commitments to the next player on this list, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.