Trey Lance completed his unremarkable preseason marketing campaign in a 17-0 loss to the Houston Texans. Lance went 7-for-11 for 49 yards, however didn’t look totally comfy within the pocket — lacking a number of open passes and failing to steer a single scoring drive.
Lance’s efficiency over the previous three weeks hasn’t been horrible, but it surely’s additionally been extraordinarily unconvincing. Particularly contemplating the 49ers nonetheless have Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster, and he led the crew to the NFC Championship a 12 months in the past. We’re left with a bizarre quandary on what San Francisco’s priorities must be this season: Profitable soccer video games and competing, or setting themselves up for the longer term.
What has Trey Lance carried out this preseason?
Lance has been an extremely correct quarterback who hasn’t made errors throughout his two video games. He’s gone 11-for-16 for 141 yards, 1 TD and no interceptions. That represents a passer score of 116.9, which must be trigger for pleasure — but it surely’s why we choose efficiency off video games and never field scores.
The reality is, Lance hasn’t made one impactful play exterior of a 76-yard landing to Danny Grey within the first preseason sport. When 54 % of your passing yards come on a single play, and the remainder of the reps have been unremarkable, it’s a little bit of a fear.
At its core, the problem is why the 49ers determined they wanted to commerce up and draft Lance with the No. 3 decide within the 2021 NFL Draft. The crew was in search of extra playmaking and dynamism on the place, and up to now we haven’t seen it. Probably the most uncooked metric for quarterback playmaking is YPA (yards-per-attempt). It merely measures how a lot offense a passer generates each time they drop again to go, and it’s usually an ideal indicator of how good a quarterback is. Something over 7.0 is nice, with 8.0 or higher being indicative of an elite season.
In preseason Lance’s complete YPA is 8.8, which is stellar — however with out that one 76-yard go it plummets to an abysmal YPA of 4.33. For comparability, within the worst sport Zach Wilson performed in 2021 he completed with a YPA of 4.35, and that was the worst sport in one of many worst rookie seasons by a passer in latest reminiscence.
It’s not honest to fully take away that landing from the equation, but it surely underscores the wildly inconsistent nature of Lance’s play. He’s not transferring chains, he’s not placing the 49ers in scoring positions, and because it stands it’s not possible to see him as an improve for Jimmy G.
What’s the standing of Jimmy Garoppolo?
It’s been a really unusual few months for Jimmy Garoppolo. Whereas the 49ers quarterback was extremely criticized following the playoffs that noticed him end with a passer score of 72.7, he remained largely quiet and let the speak swirl round him.
Regardless of rumors across the draft that groups would attempt to commerce for Jimmy G, these offers by no means materialized. Whereas different quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield and Matt Ryan discovered new properties, it appeared the 49ers QB was all the time destined to saved as a fallback play for Trey Lance. Because it stands Garoppolo remains to be on the 49ers roster, and a lock to make the 53 man roster.
The query is: Is it time now to tug the ripcord and re-name Jimmy G the starter?
Ought to the 49ers make a change at quarterback?
That actually will depend on the crew’s targets, and why this complete state of affairs has grow to be so tough. The perfect was that Garoppolo may lead the crew to success in 2021, and with a 12 months underneath his belt Lance may take over in 2022 — sustaining the crew’s profitable methods.
It seems the crew received’t attain these heights. As an alternative the entrance workplace is now dealing with down a state of affairs the place they want to decide on between profitable proper now and competing for a Tremendous Bowl, or taking part in out the 12 months and guaranteeing Lance has time to develop. There’s little doubt the younger quarterback has proven sufficient flashes that are indicative of starter degree play, however with a purpose to match Garoppolo’s manufacturing these flashes want to come back with regularity.
It’s additionally honest to say that the 49ers offensive line has been a multitude up to now. The retirement of heart Alex Mack, paired with shedding Laken Tomlinson to free company led to the crew rotating by way of a number of younger gamers on the OL. However, no matter their personnel switches the unit remains to be taking part in turnstile soccer that lets by way of go rushers like a subway at rush hour. It’s unclear if Garoppolo may have success behind this identical line as constructed, although it’s secure to say he has extra expertise coping with NFL stress than Lance.
Regardless of the frustration, it will be a mammoth mistake to make one other quarterback change now. San Francisco opens its 2022 marketing campaign towards the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, with their first actual take a look at coming in Week 3 towards the Broncos. That gradual transition into the season would give the 49ers two extra weeks to take a look at Lance, then if issues are wanting dangerous they will make the change. Nonetheless, in the long term, the objective must be sustained success — and that’s greatest achieved by build up Lance’s confidence as a passer and forcing him to play with no looming risk of shedding his job. The instruments are there; he simply must put it collectively.
The fact is that the 49ers may not meet the lofty expectations followers had for them to return to being a pressure within the NFC and make a deep playoff run, however long run it’s the very best plan of action. This can be a crew that can win a Tremendous Bowl, however not till Trey Lance is prepared — and he’s not there but.