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It’s Time For The 49ers To Unleash Their Young Superstar

After a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 NFC Championship Game, the San Francisco 49ers look to get back to the Super Bowl behind their new starting quarterback.

The 49ers new starting quarterback Trey Lance showcased his talents against the Green Bay Packers completing 80% of his passes for 92 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown to rookie receiver Danny Gray. He delivered a pass, in a condensed pocket, that hit Gray in stride which allowed him to break a tackle and run into the endzone.

After the game, Lance was asked what he saw on the play to which he humbly replied, “throw it to the fast guy.” This performance led to a quarterback rating of 158.3, the highest of any quarterback thus far in the preseason. There was speculation if Lance could carry momentum into joint practices against a number one defense in Week Two of the preseason. 

Following their week one victory against the Green Bay Packers, The San Francisco 49ers then went to Minnesota to face another NFC North opponent in the Vikings. Lance was excited to practice and play in his home state as a professional football player for the first time.

In his post-practice press conference, Lance stated, “It’s good to be back… I had fun practicing against someone else, seeing another defense, and then traveling and getting in a hotel and spending a lot of time with the guys.” But how did Lance perform over the two days of joint practice?

On day one of the joint sessions, Lance dazzled the crowd by completing multiple deep passes, including a 50-yard touchdown to Danny Gray, who beat veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson. On day two, Lance demonstrated restraint taking check downs to keep the 49ers offense moving.  Overall, the young quarterback completed 23 of 33 passes (69.7%) with only one interception over two practice sessions.

Although Lance will not participate in the 49ers’ second preseason game, there are many positives to take away. First, the offense was able to move effectively against a formidable defense. Second, Lance illustrated he could be aggressive downfield, yet disciplined in taking short throws to move the chains. Third, despite average offensive line play, Lance scrambled out of the pocket and gained positive yardage. 

How Trey Lance Showed Confidence In His Offensive Line

Despite struggling in practices against his own defense in training camp, which will be top five in the NFL this season, Lance illustrated poise in the pocket, throwing aggressively downfield, and being the leader they expect. A reporter asked for his assessment of the offensive line, “like I said, going against another defense again, real talented, I thought they did a good job… Spencer Burford, Aaron Banks, and Jake have done a great job and I’m expecting them to do so.”

The offensive line has many question marks which include three new starters along the interior: Aaron Banks, Jake Brendl, and Spencer Burford. However, Lance continues to show confidence and encourage his teammates. 

Final 49ers Preseason Game And Looking Ahead to Week One

The San Francisco 49ers finished their 2022 preseason campaign against the Houston Texans falling 17-0. Where did things go wrong? The 49ers offensive line had a horrific day. There was no push in the run game and missed assignments in pass protection. This is a cause for concern as week one of the regular season is fast approaching. Despite horrid line play, Lance still completed 64% of his passes for 49 yards and most importantly, committed no turnovers.

Over his two preseason starts he went 11-16 with one touchdown, zero turnovers, and a quarterback rating of 117.0. There should be a lot of positives taken from his overall performance in the preseason and joint practice. The 49ers should be optimistic about making a Super Bowl Run.

MVP Odds For 49ers Quarterback Trey Lance Heading Into 2022

It is not often that a second-year quarterback demonstrates this level of football IQ and growth, regardless of snaps or playing time. Have the 49ers found a diamond in the rough? There is no evidence to suggest a drop-off in Lance’s game from his 2021 campaign where he started two games and registered five touchdowns and two interceptions. Las Vegas oddsmakers had the young star at 150-1 to win the NFL MVP award.

However, over the last several months the odds plummeted to 40-1. There is no coincidence he is drawing attention around the league and it is only a matter of time before we label him as a “star” or “superstar”. The 49ers should have Super Bowl aspirations in 2022 with Lance at the helm.

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