Trey Lance highlights 49ers position grades from win vs. Texans
49ers Offensive Grades
Trey Lance came into the game off the back of a lot of hype from head coach Kyle Shanahan about how much he had improved in practice, but we didn’t see that very early on.
Shanahan ran a mostly conservative style trying to use the run as the primary weapon as usual, and the few throws Lance had early on were accurate but short.
In the second quarter Lance threw a bad interception trying to hit a covered George Kittle, and was lucky not to throw a second on right on the cusp of halftime (which was miraculously somehow caught by Brandon Aiyuk after the deflection).
Lance settled down however in the second half and showed off the ability that caused the 49ers to trade up to take him in the NFL Draft. He moved the chains consistently and scored his first touchdown off a nicely designed play to running back Elijah Mitchell.
His most impressive throw came later in the half when he threw a bomb downfield perfectly to Deebo Samuel for his second touchdown. This effectively iced the game for San Francisco and ensured Lance would have his first win as a starter in the NFL.
Lance will need to work on developing some touch on his passes at times as well as better decision making, but we saw a lot more of the good side than the raw side. Overall, he went 16-of-23 for 249 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also had eight carries for 31 yards and had a rushing touchdown called back due to a penalty that would have put the real exclamation on his performance.
Lance wasn’t perfect, but he was very good indeed.
It’s good to have Mitchell back, and he didn’t slow down a beat in his return to the field.
Mitchell had 119 yards on 21 carries and two catches for 11 yards an a touchdown. He broke free for large gains and took a lot of the pressure on Lance to carry the offense.
The Texans were somewhat successful in stifling the running game early, but Mitchell wore them down.
Surprisingly enough, no other running back had a carry in this game with the rest of the yardage accumulated by Lance, Samuel (seven carries for 19 yards) and Kittle (one carry for 6 yards).
As for the grade, this is all Mitchell.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
It was a mixed bag for the receivers of the group, as Lance spread the ball around with his passing as opposed to his last start where he leaned on Samuel for a lot of the game.
Aiyuk was the best performing receiver in terms of catches with four receptions for 94 yards, with one of those being an excellent adjustment off a tipped ball to give the 49ers a good range for a field goal to end the half.
Samuel pulled in the sole score for the receivers and ended up with three receptions for 63 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.
Kittle had an excellent acrobatic catch but was otherwise totally blanked by the Texans, with only that aforementioned reception for 29 yards. It doesn’t appear he and Lance have developed the right chemistry just yet.
The offensive line blocked well in all facets of the game, albeit with a mobile quarterback making life a little easier for them.
But that’ll suit the 49ers just fine. They gave up only the single sack and helped wear down the defensive line of Houston throughout. The running game got a lot easier as the game went on.
The best performing positional group today.