49ers’ opening win at Detroit shows why Trey Lance is in a much better positon than Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson

Trey Lance threw a touchdown pass on his first and only NFL pass Sunday, then for the most part retreated to the bench Sunday and watched Jimmy Garoppolo put on a clinic.

The 49ers won 41-33 with the Detroit Lions scoring a flurry of points at Ford Field in garbage time and even got in a position where with the help of a miracle they could have tied the game. None of those points were as concerning as injuries to cornerback Jason Verrett and running back Raheem Mostert in terms of the 49ers final 16 games.

The one area that received the most scrutiny since the 2021 NFL Draft turned out to be the area of least concern. Garoppolo ran the show while Lance, the No. 3 overall selection, began the process of being spoon-fed bits and pieces of the 49ers system under the guidance of coach Kyle Shanahan.

Look no further than the NFL debuts of the top two picks — Trevor Lawrence of Jacksonville and Zach Wilson of the New York Jets — to see which of these potential franchise quarterbacks is in the best situation for a long and fruitful career.

The Jaguars were blown out 37-21 by a Houston team which by acclimation is considered the dregs of the NFL. Lawrence was 28 of 51 for 332 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He piled up the big yardage numbers once Houston had taken a 37-21 lead.

As for Wilson, he too put up some late stats in a 19-14 loss to Carolina and quarterback Sam Darnold, who the Jets never surrounded with a legitimate suppotring cast and was sent packing. Wilson was 20 of 37 for 258 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. And while Lawrence was sacked only once, the Panthers dropped Wilson six times.

Lance, by contrast, operated from the cocoon of limited plays designed to suit his strengths. Four of them in all. His only pass went for a 5-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield. He ran three times for two yards. Garoppolo, meanwhile was 16 of 24 for 303 yards and a touchdown.

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Lawrence and Wilson were doing their best to read defenses and make decisions with confusing options working with teammates who were blowing assignments and missing blocks. What Lance did was limited in scope with much better players surrounding him. Create with his ability to run with a pass option. One thing or the other. Basic. And the threat of Lance running is what enabled Sherfield to make an in-cut, then break outside for an easy touchdown.

“That’s what gave me the time,” Lance said. “That’s kind of the goal. Make the defense think I’m going to run the ball. Trent ran a great route, then made a great catch.”

When Lance got in on the opening series, you half wondered whether Shanahan was going to go to a full-fledged two-quarterback system. He said afterward he didn’t anticipate using Lance that early, but the right situation in the red zone presented itself so he went to the rookie …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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