The 49ers lost Trey Lance to a season-ending injury against the Seahawks, yet the Niners still managed a convincing win with some net positives.
It’s certainly fair to be both upset and concerned about the San Francisco 49ers’ future with quarterback Trey Lance, whose season-ending ankle break in the Niners’ 27-7 Week 2 win over the Seattle Seahawks will dominate talking points for the team for quite some time now.
However, it sure looks as if San Francisco finally turned the page on what’s been a relatively lopsided 10-year rivalry with the Hawks, winning an NFC West tilt that went almost entirely in the 49ers’ favor.
Aside from Lance’s injury, of course.
The Niners outgained Seattle 373 yards to 216. San Francisco forced three turnovers while not turning the ball over itself, and Seattle quarterback Geno Smith couldn’t find any sort of rhythm outside of getting wide receiver Tyler Lockett a 100-yard game.
All of that combines to make a notable positive from the 49ers’ vantage point, but let’s explore five additional positive takeaways that don’t involve Lance.
Positive No. 5: 49ers cut down on penalties in a big way
One could make the argument the No. 1 reason why the Niners lost their Week 1 tilt against the Chicago Bears wasn’t because of Lance’s so-so efforts or even the rain-soaked turf at Soldier Field.
No, it was the insurmountable number of penalties that did San Francisco in: a total of 12 for 99 yards, including three costly ones on third down. And if you subscribe to the notion that 100 yards of penalties equate to seven points, well, the 49ers beat themselves in Week 1 versus an inferior opponent.
Not the case in Week 2, though.
The Niners committed one lone penalty against the Seahawks. And while it was somewhat costly, a defensive pass-interference call on cornerback Emmanuel Moseley on 3rd-and-17 that gave the Hawks 26 extra yards, San Francisco’s defense ultimately clamped down with a red-zone interception later on the drive.
The 49ers needed to clean this facet up, and they did.