5 biggest takeaways from 49ers win with Trey Lance vs. 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) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

10. 23. 42. Final. 7

The 49ers pulled off a much-needed win over the Texans with Trey Lance under center, leaving us with some notable takeaways from the game.

Over his previous six quarters as the San Francisco 49ers‘ starting quarterback, dating way back to Weeks 4 and 5, rookie Trey Lance showcased the notion it took time for him to get into a rhythm.

During the Niners’ Week 17 home bout against the Houston Texans, it took nearly two quarters for Lance to get into a rhythm.

That rhythm ended up being more than enough, though, as Lance overcame a first-half interception that eventually led to a Texans touchdown, only to be on the right side of a 23-7 victory at Levi’s Stadium that improved San Francisco to 9-7 and on the cusp of securing a playoff berth.

The 49ers now have a bit of a conundrum heading into their regular-season finale in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Should Lance, who played well enough, remain the starter for head coach Kyle Shanahan even if the veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, is healthy enough with the thumb sprain that forced him out of Week 17?

That leads to the first of our five takeaways from the Niners’ win over Houston.

Takeaway No. 5: 49ers must let it ride with Trey Lance from here on out

Yes, there’s going to be the argument Garoppolo has far more experience and might be the “safer” option for San Francisco for as long as its 2021 campaign remains alive. And the 49ers would love to drive Garoppolo’s offseason value up as high as possible, too, provided they want to trade him this offseason.

But the next step in Lance’s maturation, fully acknowledging how important that is, is for him to now face off against upper-echelon competition.

Such as the 12-4 Rams, who are going to be vying for the NFC West crown in Week 18 and won’t be resting their starters.

Lance showed both the highs and lows of his development, at times being too hesitant with his passes while, especially later on, also flashing the arm strength and mobility that led to the Niners drafting him in the first place.

It’s time, for better or worse, for San Francisco to start embracing that development from this point and potentially into the playoffs.