Trey Lance: Week 17 efforts show why Kyle Shanahan was right all along
By Timmy Gibson
Trey Lance wasn’t ready for 49ers earlier this season
The quarterback controversy reared its ugly head again when Garoppolo’s mysterious thumb injury kept him out from Week 17’s tilt against the Houston Texans.
However, after Lance led the team to a relatively easy win over Houston, it has become clear that Shanahan was right all along. Not only was Garoppolo the man to keep the Niners in contention this season, but by comparing Lance’s Week 5 start to this Week 17 one, it’s clear his time behind Garoppolo benefited Lance greatly in terms of development.
Lance’s first start for the 49ers came in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals after a Garoppolo calf strain kept him out of the game. Lance’s performance wasn’t terrible, but it certainly showed his limits.
Particularly, his limited experience due to having only started one full season at the FCS level before being drafted into the NFL appeared, especially in the form of bad decisions. Lance often choose to rely on his, albeit very talented, legs to gain yards, often bailing on developing plays and never seeming fully comfortable in the pocket.
Lance rushed the ball a total of 16 times for 89 yards, a clearly unsustainable pace proven by the knee injury it was later announced Lance suffered. Additionally, Lance completed 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Lance’s performance was not bad. In fact, he flashed many of the traits that led the Niners to pick him third overall.
However, Lance’s performance was highlighted by him seeming uncomfortable in the pocket and being far too quick to bail and attempt to make plays with his legs.