Takeaway #2: The 49ers backup QB competition takes another swing
The 49ers' backup QB competition has been the talk of training camp - embattled third-year QB Trey Lance vs. former 3rd-overall pick QB Sam Darnold. The 49ers seemed to have a plan going into the preseason on how to split reps for the two. Lance would get the first half against the Raiders and the second half against the Broncos and Darnold vice-versa.
But the 49ers changed things up in the Broncos game, with Darnold playing well into the third quarter and leading the team to a touchdown before giving way to Lance. Darnold played well again with the ball, showing his talent. That's a two-game stretch where Darnold has shown his talent, giving him a chance to separate from Lance.
Lance, on the other hand, had a rough game against the Raiders, and he continued to oscillate against the Broncos. With Lance, there are always struggles that will pop up—in this case, a continued hesitancy with the ball at times. But with Lance, there are moments of absolute brilliance, where his progression is clear, the type of plays that two years ago would have excited 49ers fans about the future.
Lance's final two drives were the type of performance that the 49ers have wanted out of him—a sign that the competition is not over yet. It'll take the full preseason to determine the winner here.