Kyle Shanahan needs to start Trey Lance
By: Jason Willis
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the divisional rival Seattle Seahawks. In this game, starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf injury. Of course, this prompted the entrance of rookie Trey Lance. While recent news has stated that Garoppolo’s injury isn’t as bad as it seems, the 49ers should turn to the rookie either way.
Currently, the San Francisco offense is middle of the pack. With one of the best play callers in the NFL in Kyle Shanahan and some of the best weapons, the 49er’s offense has so much more potential. Part of unlocking this potential is moving on from Garoppolo. While Garoppolo has been adequate so far, it is clear he holds the team back in many key areas.
The biggest area where Trey Lance can help the 49ers immediately is in the run game. Much like his father, Kyle Shanahan is excellent at scheming up the running game. As we saw when he was the offensive coordinator is Washington with Robert Griffin III, this can also include the quarterback. If Lance is inserted as the starter, Shanahan’s entire playbook will open back up. With the injury to starting running back Raheem Mostert, this would revitalize the entire San Francisco offense.
While Lance was hardly perfect as a passer on Sunday, one thing was clear: He is simply more physically talented than Jimmy Garoppolo. With likely the strongest arm of any rookie QB, he can make throws that Garoppolo can’t even attempt. With weapons like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk being able to stretch the field more convincingly would make a world of difference. This is something that is not new to Lance either as he did it often at North Dakota State.
Trey Lance was not great on Sunday. However, for a rookie quarterback thrown into action against a good team, it was an admirable job. As mentioned, it was clear the talent gap between the two quarterbacks as well. Luckily for San Francisco, the Garoppolo injury allows them the perfect opportunity to insert Trey Lance permanently. When Trey Lance is on the field for the 49ers, everything about their offense just feels different. He is the 49ers x-factor for this season and going forward and it is time for Kyle Shanahan and company to embrace it. Truly, it is the difference in them being a good team and a great team.