49ers saw why Trey Lance is ready after Week 5 loss vs. Cardinals

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers fell to 2-3 following a tough loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but quarterback Trey Lance showed enough.

Frustration is part and parcel of watching sports, and San Francisco 49ers fans sure got their fill of it in a 17-10 Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that was hard to watch.

San Francisco did everything right. The defense stifled an offense that’s been as close to unstoppable as any in this league (and a scrambling quarterback at that, which the Niners historically struggle to contain), the offense was able to get going after a slow start in the second half, and rookie quarterback Trey Lance showed he could hang with one of the best teams in the NFL on the road.

But countless fourth-down stops, including Lance mere inches away from scoring, killed the momentum of the offense along with so many flags that you could almost have covered the stadium in yellow by the end of the game.

Add in some key drops in bad situations and the offense scored only 10 points, despite being the better offense in this game.

But that’s also the one thing to take away from this: Lance led the offense to a good day on the field even if it wasn’t the win.

Read MoreTrey Lance: What worked, what didn’t for 49ers rookie vs. Cardinals

Lance finished 15-of-29 passing for 192 yards and an interception, which was thrown early in the game when he put too much height on the pass. He also rushed 16 times for 89 yards and was agonizingly short of a rushing touchdown.

Some of these were designed runs as the 49ers offense transitioned to essentially an option offense, but some were improvised plays when Lance escaped the pocket.

Similar to last week, Lance played better as the game went on. He showed no signs of his early interception sapping his confidence, and his numbers are slightly misleading as he was the victim of some dropped passes and some other big plays that were called back due to holding penalties.

There are easier games on the horizon against easier defenses, so for Lance to play like this against one of the toughest teams on the schedule is encouraging.

Lance wasn’t perfect, of course. He scrambled too many times and opened himself up to hits from defenders, which he must learn to moderate, and sometimes Lance didn’t throw a checkdown while looking for a big play.

In short, he’s a rookie. He’s a raw rookie quarterback. He’s not going to hit every target, it just doesn’t happen.

But that’s a rookie for you. They’re flaws that will go away with coaching and experience, but you can’t teach raw talent and Lance has shown he can compete in the NFL.

The time is now for the 49ers to finally take the reins from incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo and give them to Lance. Even if this season continues to be as inconsistent as the first five weeks have been for the team, every snap Lance takes is beneficial for 2022 and beyond.

For all the bumps in the road the 49ers will have for the future, for every deep bomb and for every scramble, and for every rookie mistake that will happen with Lance.

The time is now.

Next. What worked, what didn't for Trey Lance in 49ers loss to Cardinals. dark