No. 1: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers need to continue starting Trey Lance
Yes, this’ll anger the Jimmy Garoppolo fans out there. That’s fine. For all he’s done for the franchise, including helping them get to a Super Bowl in 2019, Garoppolo is a lame-duck quarterback.
Trey Lance is the future. No getting around that.
Lance’s floor, if that was the apparent observation from Week 5, still generated plenty of opportunities for amazing play once he figures out the rigors of NFL action and the game slows down for him. Case in point, on Lance’s interception in the first quarter against Arizona, the quarterback’s scrambling-ability threat forced Cardinals defenders to be out of position:
This allowed for Lance to hit Benjamin on what could have been a better-thrown pass, and there were still plenty of yards to gain for rushing.
More importantly, though, Lance needs field time. A lot of it. And that field time must be in situations where the No. 3 overall draft pick can hone his raw skill set and make good work on the areas of improvement that are apparent.
What Lance showed, and despite the 49ers offensive line doing him few favors, was the ability to force opposing defenses into a bit of a conundrum. Should those units guard against Lance’s scrambling abilities and elusiveness? Or should they try to force Lance’s inexperience in the passing game at the potential expense of letting him pick up chunk yards on the ground?
Whatever those cases might be, Kyle Shanahan’s offense needs a spark. Garoppolo hasn’t been able to deliver that over four games this season, and his long-term future with the team is already sealed.
It might not be pretty right away. But Shanahan needs to ramp up Lance’s development. Now.