Trey Lance off to a rough start as 49ers host Texans

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

The 49ers have struggled on offense with Trey Lance under center, meaning the rookie’s growing pains are still on display despite his hype.

There was always going to be the most optimistic of hopes San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance would light up the Houston Texans in Week 17.

Well, not so much early at least.

Lance got his second start of the season in the wake of fellow quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s thumb injury, and going up against a lowly Texans squad should have provided the No. 3 overall NFL Draft pick with the best possible context to have a solid outing.

Both teams struggled to get much of anything going on offense over the first half, and Lance was arguably hindered by head coach Kyle Shanahan’s conservative play-calling and primary focus on the run game.

Even with a handful of good throws and one moderately impressive drive, Lance still looked like the inexperienced rookie who performed in a similar manner during his only other start way back in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Trey Lance is off to a bit of a rough start vs. Texans

On one sack, Lance could have hit fullback Kyle Juszczyk for what would have been a wide-open touchdown, not quite unlike what Garoppolo missed on an overthrow in the Niners’ Week 16 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

That wasn’t Lance’s worst play, though, as he underthrew a pass intended for tight end George Kittle, right into the waiting arms of Texans cornerback Desmond King:

Through one-plus quarter and with no score in the game, Lance’s opening line is 5-of-6 for 42 yards with the interception and a passer rating of 56.2. He’s also rushed for 14 yards on four carries, taking some heavy hits on those attempts, too.

Read More: 49ers inactives: Jimmy Garoppolo out, Trey Lance in vs. Texans

Again, there were some nice passes. A throw from deep inside San Francisco territory hit wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a first down, and Lance hasn’t been afraid to go off script from time to time when his primary reads weren’t there.

Still, there are plenty of growing pains on display, and the hope is Lance will get into rhythm over the rest of the game.

Next. 49ers vs. Texans: 4 bold predictions for Week 17. dark