49ers lose preseason finale to Chargers, these looming questions remain

Preseason games don't matter except when it comes to figuring out what's next.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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13. Final. 12. 42. 49ers-Chargers score. 23

The 49ers fell short against the Chargers in the final preseason game of 2023, but these takeaways probably matter more than the final score.

For those counting, the San Francisco 49ers finished their 2023 preseason campaign with a 1-2 record following a Friday night 23-12 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi's Stadium to close out the exhibition phase of the year prior to roster cut-downs and the inevitable start of the regular season in early September.

No one cares about the Niners' record and final scores, though. Fans and analysts will, however, care about the massive takeaways that'll accompany head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. with the preseason wrapped up.

San Francisco has a few of those.

Three weeks of preseason action, highlighted by the exhibition loss to the Bolts, should raise these notable questions with the regular season just around the corner.

49ers question No. 1: Was trading Trey Lance the right move?

The actual game itself was an afterthought on Friday in the wake of news the 49ers traded away quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys for a fourth-round NFL Draft pick next year.

Cutting bait on Lance is a massive whiff for the Niners, yes, but the reality now is that they have to be comfortable with Brock Purdy under center, followed by Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen.

Allen, who is arguably the biggest victor from Lance's departure, struggled against Los Angeles and went 2-of-6 for 23 yards with an interception.

Considering San Francisco's injury history at quarterback, was parting ways with Lance the best choice?