Trey Lance suffers sprained knee; Three takeaways from 49ers third loss in a row

Running back (28) Trey Sermon of the San Francisco 49ers catches a pass and runs against the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 17-10. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

The San Francisco 49ers lost 17-10 yesterday to the Arizona Cardinals, and now are 2-3 as they take a three-game losing streak into their bye week. In addition, Trey Lance suffered a sprained left knee and could miss one to two weeks.

Now that some time has passed, here are my three takeaways from the game:

1. Kyle Shanahan needs to find the identity of his offense.

The way Kyle Shanahan called this game reminded me of watching a little brother playing against his big brother in Madden on Xbox. From passing up points, to running Trey Lance all over the place and choosing not to punt, the game management on Sunday was classic Kyle.

On the 49ers’ second and third offensive possessions of the game, the offense moved the ball into scoring position, and instead of attempting to get points on the board, Shanahan made the decision to go for it. Statistical modeling will tell you Shanahan made the correct call, unfortunately, football isn’t played inside computer simulations. The Arizona defense stepped up and stuffed Trey Lance short both times.

There’s no way of knowing how different the game would have played out if the 49ers had applied pressure on Arizona by getting points on the board to make it 7-3 or 7-6 midway through the second quarter, but those lost opportunities kept the momentum of the game with the Cardinals.

This leads us to the way Shanahan utilized Trey Lance. The 49ers ran 59 total plays, 47 of those were put in the hands of a rookie making his first NFL start. Interesting choice. The only real issue here was how Shanahan took the ball away from his running backs.

Kyle Shanahan called 24 running plays against Arizona, 12 of them put the ball in the hands of Lance and the other 12 were split between Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, Deebo Samuel and Kyle Juszczyk. Lance averaged 3.7 yards per attempt compared to 5.3 by the other four which also included a touchdown run by Samuel.

Giving his running backs more opportunities instead of falling in love with quarterback runs would be a good place for Shanahan to recapture the identity of his offense and it’s crucial for a couple of reasons; the running backs have been able to get going the last two weeks is one and the other would be there’s a reason that running backs have short careers. Continually putting the ball in the hands of your prize quarterback to run the ball between the tackles doesn’t generate better results than handing it off and it is a good way to ensure Trey Lance will have a short career, and now after his first start he may be out for a week or two with a sprained knee. 


2. Trey Lance was fine.

Making his first NFL start, Lance had a bit of an up and down day. His performance against Arizona resembled what he did throughout training camp due to not consistently being accurate.

This showed up on Lance’s first two throws of the game and carried throughout. The first throw was a strike to Kyle Juszczyk in the right flat, and the next throw would sail over the head of Travis Benjamin for Lance’s first NFL interception.

One of the biggest differences between Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo is his willingness to push the ball downfield more often. This is why Lance has a much higher average yard per completion than Garoppolo while having a lower average yard per attempt. The issue with this is it results in Lance completing passes at a 15% lower rate which causes the offense to be a bit choppy.

If Lance can get a handle on his accuracy the sky is the limit. He has the arm strength to hit every area on the field and there were some flashes of what this could look like, highlighted by throws to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk that beat tight coverage with good ball placement.

The sooner that Kyle Shanahan starts focusing on Lance as a quarterback instead of using him as a running back the better it will be for Lance’s development and long-term prospects in San Francisco.

3. 49ers’ defense deserves better.

Despite being without a starting cornerback, nickelback, and linebacker, the 49ers’ defense has put up back-to-back games that went wasted due to the offense being unable to generate points.

Last week against Seattle, the 49ers held the Seahawks offense to only 4.3 yards per play, their lowest total by nearly three yards over the first four weeks of the season.

Against Arizona, the San Francisco defense was able to hold a Cardinals offense that came in averaging 35 points per game and 6.6 yards per play to only 17 points and 5 yards per play.

During the second half the defense held Arizona to only 41 yards on their first four possessions and forced a turnover when Dontae Johnson stripped the ball away from Chase Edmonds. The 49ers’ offense could manage only seven points during that time, including back-to-back possessions that ended with failed fourth down conversions.

One area in which the defense has shown great strides in the past two weeks is limiting the damage done by mobile quarterbacks. Facing two of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, San Francisco was able to hold them to only 27 yards rushing on 11 attempts.

New defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has definitely done a better job through the first five weeks than new offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel.

This article has 65 Comments

  1. I was very impressed with the defense, especially their ability to keep Kyler from breakout runs. This was one of their best performances in recent memory. As for the run game, I was surprised they did not run more. I expected at least a 55/45 ratio and it didn’t quite make 50%. I assume Shanahan had good reason for this and maybe this will get asked and answered. I was also surprised that Lance had so many carries. I know that some were designed QB runs but how many were option plays where Lance chose himself? He mostly didn’t do that well including when he was stopped at the goal line. He’s a big strong kid who appears to be fast but he’s not going up against small school kids anymore and I’m sure he learned some lessons. While fast he doesn’t appear to be overly quick. He reminds me more of Kaepernick than Wilson but it’s only one game and he’s a rookie.

    1. Well, the fact they passed more may have something to do with the Cardinal DBs being the weaker unit of a strong defense and that they also had a number of negative plays.

      So far Lance has shown that he is everything most of us hoped he’d be. Just needs a lot more seasoning. He’s thrown less than 350 passes in college and pro games combined! Luckily, a good part of those lessons can come in classroom and practicing against the Niners defense.

      The D played with great discipline and executed Ryan’s game-plan. Good coaching and execution. Bosa did Bosa things, but one should note that Armstead seems to be having his best year yet.

  2. Treating your QB as short yardage back was spectacularly stupid. Kyle is having a horrendous year, is he checking out? Is he pouting that the rest of the team forced Lance on him? Don’t know, but it is time for Shanahan to put up or shut up. His constant excuses about the team not executing are on him. The constant stream of injuries are on him. The losing is on him. His offenses mostly being in the bottom half of scoring in his HC/OC career is on him. Losing will lose him his job sooner or later.

  3. Kyle’s play-calling on the 1st two 2019 playoff games…
    1st playoff game against the Vikings – 19 pass play called for JG and 42 run play called for the RBs
    2nd playoff game against the Greenbay – 8 pass play called for JG and 36 run play called for the RBs
    Both playoff games at HOME!

    Yesterday’s play-calling… on the ROAD…
    1st ever game of one of the youngest rookie QB to start – 29 pass play called for Trey with 16 run attempts (12 where a run play called) and 11 run play called for the RBs.

    Way to protect your young QB Kyle… SMH…

  4. This article made me suddenly wonder if KS is part of the problem when it comes to injuries. I’m wondering if he has an attitude where he simply does not consider potential injury when designing a gameplan or conducting practices. Obviously, I don’t know but given that he could have easily called many more runs for the RBs than for Lance, it kind of makes you wonder (and, of course, given the very high rate of injuries throughout most of KS’ term).

  5. Just a frame of reference. Lamar Jackson has started 41 games for the Ravens. On only 7 occasions has Jackson had more rushing attempts than Trey Lance had in his debut. Of those 7, all of them came in 2018 and 2019. In no games in 2020 or so far in 2021 has Lamar Jackson had more rushing attempts than Trey Lance in his debut. The Ravens have learned what Kyle Shanahan has not yet learned. Rushing your QB more than your RBs is not a successful game plan.

      1. Nah, he is a racist POS and a lousy coach. Adios Sh*t bag.

        Gruden record with Raiders: 23-31 , Zero playoff appearances

        1. Raiders had three bigots for the price of one. $10 million / year is a pretty high price though. I’m sure they could find someone equally slimy at a cut rate.

          1. What was said happened 10 years ago when Gruden wasn’t even employed by the league. I’m not defending him. What he said was wrong. The problem I have is the Woke mob is malicious and destroy peoples careers. There’s no sense of forgiveness and moving on. Someone had bad intentions when they leaked those emails.

            1. Not exactly.

              According to The Times, Gruden sent emails to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Football Team, and others during a seven-year period that ended in 2018.


              He may have not been employed by the leaque but he sure was spouting off to plenty others who were. How did they respond?

              The problem I have is the Woke mob is malicious and destroy peoples careers.

              I don’t have a problem with people being held responsible for their actions.

            2. First of all, you might want to get yourself a better calculator, Nick, because most of these emails were only a few years old. And if you were actually paying attention instead of reflexively deflecting, you’d realize that it was the NFL itself that took down Gruden, not some fictitious “woke mob”, as you put it. The NFL are the ones who released these emails to the press, knowing full well that Mark Davis with have no other choice but to ask for Gruden’s resignation once those emails became public.

              Besides, using the old, “if you don’t like the message, blame the messenger” is one of the oldest tactics in the book, for deflecting blame. The problem here isn’t the reaction, the problem is the content of the emails themselves. The NFL is trying to move forward in addressing social justice issues, while Jon Gruden is apparently stuck in the stone ages, spewing hatred and vitriol in every possible direction.

              1. So the story here is who revealed the emails rather than the original authors racism and homophobia??? Puhlease. I was wondering why the Raiders signed the low-life Richie Incognito. Now it all makes sense.

              2. Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I clearly stated that what Gruden said was wrong and I’m not here defending him. But, someone had bad intentions when they leaked those emails. Those things can be mutually correct. Anyway, with more info – like former player Keyshawn Johnson coming out against Gruden – I’m no longer giving him the benefit of doubt that he may have changed, that he may be a better person today.

              3. Wow , how bold of you to say Gruden was “wrong”. Why is leaking an email a “bad intention’ when those emails contain “wrong” , racist and homophobic language. Stop making this about the leaker of the emails and not the content and writer of the emails. Note also that this wasn’t a fishing expedition into the writings of a high school teenager whose brain hasn’t completely developed. Gruden was an adult man in his 50s. Stop trying to divert attention away from Gruden – the POS.

              4. Breaking news: The Gruden emails were on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Now , WHAT F*CKING DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE???????

              5. How and who leaked these emails?

                Oooh, it was that nefarious Antifa NFL.

                The emails came to light during the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct with Washington, as “the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation,” according to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy. Senior league executives reviewed the content of more than 650,000 emails, including the one the Journal reported was written by Gruden to Allen. The NFL sent pertinent emails to the Raiders for review.

                –As per ESPN

                And then the Raiders did the right thing in sh*tcanning Gruden? There’s a first time for everything.

              6. Nick, you are on to something.

                What’s not being widely reported is the single email that was leaked first (referencing DeMaurice Smith) happened on the same day DeMaurice Smith was likely to lose his job as head of the NFLPA. It’s no secret Smith is viewed by many as a shill for Goodell and the owners.

                Take a look at the NFLPA, the worst led union in the big 3 today. You have the MLB whose players get fully guaranteed contracts for a no-contact, low injury sport. The NBA is pretty much run by the players at this stage, yet make no mistake the NFL is the owners’ league. A league that destroys the health of its participants. CTE, lifelong disabilities, you name it. MLB and NBA don’t even come close to the risks involved, yet an NFL player’s risk/reward is ridiculously disadvantaged against them. Now compare the revenues that the NFL brings in for its owners compared to MLB and NBA. Again, what other explanation can be given as far as the large disparity between owners and players given the revenues and risks involved?

                The email was leaked in the morning, and later in the day DeMaurice Smith was clearly lacking the votes for another full term. At that stage he wasn’t going to finish out even this final year. Due to the lack of confidence the vote was turned over to the player representatives who voted (and may have been influenced by the single email leak) to keep him in for a final year with the promise that a transition leading to a new director would occur next year.

                No one knows what’s going to happen next year, but it’s clear that DeMaurice Smith is now going to have a big say on who the next leader of the NFLPA is going to be.

                It’s not unrealistic to put two and two together. Roger Goodell and the owners would love nothing more than to keep the NFLPA under their control, which it has been under Smith, and likely will be if he has a large say on his successor.

                The email released the same morning of the vote as a random, completely coincidental act is highly dubious at this point.

                There’s more to this story, way more, than the NFL would have you believe.

                Mark Davis knows this and his response to the press was clear as day.

  6. I was asking all game “where are the running backs?”

    When the 49ers picked Lance I envisioned play action bootlegs to take advantage of defenses over pursuing outside zone runs.

    AZ seemed like an ideal defense to attack. They have great pass rushers, but stopping the run is not their strength. Running (with actual running backs), then play action to slow the pass rush seemed inevitable.

    Instead it was empty backfield, rushing Trey (three 1st round picks) Lance between the tackles.

    Shanahan knows 10,000 times more football than I do. I’m glad he’s the head coach of the 49ers. That said there’s a clear pattern of abandoning the (running backs) run at key moments.

    1. I agree Brodie, 100%!

      This to me, is the most head-scratching decision in a season already chalk full of head-scratching decisions by the 49ers head coach. And to me, something doesn’t add up. Sunday’s game is not sitting right with me. In fact, Kyle’s play calling has been illogical ever since the opening day kickoff. But Sunday? Sunday’s game plan was bad on a whole different level. It was so bad that I am starting to think that Kyle is purposely making things more difficult than they should be, for some misguided reason.

      I’m going to stop short of going full blown conspiracy theory on Kyle Shanahan, but I was taught at a very young age that, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. I’ll just leave it at that!

      1. Should the 49ers trade Kyle Shanahan to the Raiders now that they need a head coach?

        It’s a way for the Niners to address a couple of their biggest challenges moving forward over the next few years. They could use the trade in order to recoup a lot of their draft capital, and they could implement a new offensive scheme that actually takes advantage of Trey Lance’s skill-set.

        And the Raiders might actually be a great fit for Kyle Shanahan as well, after all, his offense sure would seem right at home wandering around the parched earth of the Las Vegas dessert.

  7. PFF Rookie QB Grades – Week 5:

    New England Patriots: Mac Jones — 78.3
    San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance — 66.3
    New York Jets: Zach Wilson — 63.2
    Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence — 57.7
    Chicago Bears: Justin Fields — 46.8

    And this kid is sitting behind Garoppolo? Give me a break!

  8. This team is cursed or so it seems. Injuries keep coming. Nonetheless, play calling and game planning on offense have been utterly offensive.

  9. So I’m not a QB coach but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn express last night. I think Lances accuracy issues might be due to some mechanics that can be easily corrected. I mean he needs to work at it but it’s doable. I think he drops his elbow in his throw which hurts his accuracy and his wrist angle is slightly slanted back too much which prevents a tight spiral.. I recall I played 2nd base & shortstop through high school. When you learn to turn a double play you need to exchange the ball from glove to throwing hand very quickly. You are taught to make the exchange and bring the ball to your ear and release quickly with no windup. Arm angle doesn’t really matter. It’s all about speed. Then in college I was moved to Center Field. I was not accustomed to the crow hop and long throws from the outfield. You can’t use the same throwing motion or longer throws tend to tail off or have way too much movement to be accurate. In a long throw from the outfield you really need to keep your elbow high and your wrist behind the ball in a power position to keep the ball straight and give a bounce a true hop for the infielder. I know throwing a football is different but elbow and wrist are important. Look at natural throwers like Rodgers and Brady. Elbow is almost always at the perfect height and they use a dominant wrist angle for a clean spiral. If Lance can clean up those simple mechanics I think he’ll be more accurate and he’ll throw a much more catchable ball which will help with all the drops.

    1. That’s interesting food for thought in regards to how different positions in baseball throw the ball and it makes sense. That said, changing mechanics, is never a simple fix, even if it sounds like it in theory. Typically changing a bad habit is harder than perfecting something with no bad habits. These types of changes often take 1000 or more hours to change as you are also correcting the muscle memory of prior mechanics.

      1. When you’ve learned how to do something on your own and can do it pretty good, that muscle (and brain) memory can be the hardest to overcome when receiving instruction on the correct way to do it, that being the only way to further advance your skill. I know from teaching myself a musical instrument that really needs a specific taught technique to become completely proficient at playing the damn thing. When I finally got that instruction it was hell unlearning what I’d done.

        1. Exactly. Great tie in two with the musical instrument.

          Correcting something you have ingrained is extremely tough. And while I disagree with sitting Lance any longer, it is probably the strongest argument in favor of doing so. Chalking this up as a developmental year, and saying hey, we are going to work on rewiring your mechanics to where you don’t even have to think about it. We don’t want you playing as you will likely revert to those bad habits we want to correct, and don’t want and further delay the process. Once again, I don’t agree with this but the argument has some merit. Or it might if SF had someone on staff dedicated to doing this with him.

      2. Yes, I agree with you on difficulty in changing learned muscle memory. My only frame of reference is my own experience. I can tell you changing positions from high school to college is not unusual in baseball. Many players must learn to change their mechanics. Most are able to competently change their mechanics over fall practices or over a summer. It’s definitely doable. I wouldn’t expect Trey Lance to be able to improve his mechanics in the middle of the year. This is certainly an offseason drill/repetition task.

        1. What is interesting is that all the throwing work he did pre-draft looked like it had helped a fair bit (still not perfect), but as he got into TC he largely reverted back to what he was doing at NDSU. I think the combination of trying to learn the 49ers offense plus stay focused on changing his throwing action was too much at once.

          I expect that once Lance becomes comfortable with the offense he will be more able to focus on correcting his throwing mechanics again.

          1. Scooter, when you say “throwing mechanics”, I assume you are referring to his feet? Because I’ve both talked to QB experts, and listened to multiple QB experts on the subject of Trey Lance’s throwing mechanics, and not a single one of them thought his “throwing motion” was an issue.

            In fact, Eric Crocker just posted this on Twitter:

            Asked a QB guy who I respect… about Trey Lance’s throwing motion. Said he sees no issue with the delivery. Feet have to improve.

            His throwing motion looks “elongated or loopy”, but that’s because of where he holds the ball before he starts his throwing motion, and the bottom line is that the experts don’t think it’s affecting his accuracy, and his release is average in terms of how quick he releases the football.

            His feet do need to improve though, and he needs to avoid dropping his shoulder like he does occasionally when he throws on the move (his first QTR interception is a perfect example). The batted balls, I believe, are mostly a product of him staring down his receivers.

            But again, until Trey gets to start stacking one NFL start on top of the next, we’ll probably never see much of an improvement on these issues, IMO.

            1. The whole thing. But yeah, his footwork in particular.

              He still has a tendency to not tie his feet to the direction of the pass, and he still has a bad habit of bouncing way too much, resulting in his eye level changing significantly and not staying in a powerful base to throw quickly.

              His batted passes seemed to me more like an issue of timing in the offense being out – he was late on throwing the ball and he wasn’t making subtle movements to avoid pressure/ open up throwing lanes.

              1. Yah, the bouncing can’t be helping. And that’s a good point about the batted balls. It’ probably is more than just his eyes, it’s probably a combination of things.

                I think there are a lot people who look at his throwing motion, and think it’s elongated. from what I’ve been told, it’s more of an optical illusion, than anything else. It looks different because most QB’s hold the ball a bit lower than Trey does, therefore when he starts his motion with the ball up closer to his shoulders, it gives the impression of sort of a loopy motion to the naked eye. Using Kaepernick for comparison, Kaep did actually have an elongated motion.

                I’ve heard a lot of QB guru’s say that, unless the motion is the cause of accuracy issues, or is in practical terms ‘slower’ than it needs to be, there’s no reason to mess with it. Like you said, the QB’s base, their footwork, constant eye level, and their transfer of weight are far more important than whether or not the throwing motion looks a certain way.

                I don’t know if you caught it but Steve Young even talked about this exact subject recently.

  10. Funny how fickle people are.
    First it was, Let’s play Lance, he knows how to scramble and Jimmie doesn’t.
    Now it is KS shouldn’t have called that many runs
    Then it was TL can throw deep, he has a great arm.
    Now it is KS should have let TL hand it off to the RB
    Where are all the fans wanting to get rid Jimmie and only play TL since Jimmie gets injured too much…..
    Jimmie didn’t get injured in his 1st game and neither did Kaep ( he did scramble though)

    1. Not sure if this is directed at me but I’ve been very consistent. I’m perfectly happy if TL rides the bench the entire year. I don’t want him to start at all. If he does then something went wrong. Stay the course, play JIMMY G and then move to Lance in the offseason. Also, people can want the team to play TL and still be unhappy with the way in which he was used. Having a mobile QB doesn’t mean the play design requires that he has designed run plays into the middle of the defense where they will have free shots at him.

        1. Ahhhhhhh, ok.

          I can see clearly now the rain is gone
          I can see all obstacles in my way
          Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

          It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
          Bright (bright) sunshiny day
          It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
          Bright (bright) sunshiny day

          Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
          All of the bad feelings have disappeared
          Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for

          It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
          Bright (bright) sunshiny day

  11. Some of you “Faithful” have some Crow to eat. Give Garoppolo the credit he deserves as a winning QB! Shut your mouth when you are talking to me!

  12. Lance doesn’t seem to have the quick twitch long gazelle stride like Kaepernick did he starts off slower and gets tangled in the line.

    1. Kaep wasn’t quick twitch at all, he was slow in the pocket, its when he got to the edge and had a lot of space to run is where he made gains with his long stride.

      1. I actually think Lance is much more elusive than Kaep was, without the same top end speed.
        Though I think it’s safe to say the QB was never the only issue with this team.

        1. But Shoup did you forget that KS told Kaep that they didn’t want a mobile QB, that’s why he was let go.
          Except last Sunday….

          1. He didn’t want a mobile QB who wasn’t also a good pocket passer. He believes that Lance will become one. In my opinion, neither is quick. So far I’m not impressed with lance’s running ability but it’s game 1.

            1. Kaep lit up the league in the year they went to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately it became obvious that he didn’t have the ability to beat defenses once they studied and caught up to his game.

              We hope with Lance that his quick decision making ability, strong arm and ability to move within the pocket to avoid the rush and keep his eyes downfield will result in a franchise quarterback.

              All of this is to be seen with Lance but he definitely has a lot of the intangibles. It’s up to him to keep working hard and emerge a perennial pro bowl quarterback. I mean, that’s what 3 first round picks should buy you.

              I’m sorry, but Kaep was a totally different story. He wasn’t drafted as high for a reason. He had a physical skill set but almost none of the stuff you need between the ears to succeed as a quarterback. Do you remember how Kaepernick prepared each offseason to come back better? Yeah, he talked incessantly about how he hit the weight room instead of learning the mental/instinctual/cerebral aspects of the game.

              He also was rather easy to bring down. If you got a hand on Kaep, he’d go down like a house of cards. His modus operandi was to try and run by you- something that became harder and harder for him to do once defenses started scheming to contain him.

              Lance with his size, core and rather thick legs is a bit tougher to bring down. He should do okay in terms of breaking tackles. As far as being a Steve Young or Russell Wilson type elusive quarterback- forget it. That’s not what the 49ers saw in him.

              1. The Good: Throughout the history of the NFL, among all 186 quarterbacks to record at least 1,500 attempts throughout their careers, Colin Kaepernick ranks fifth-best in passing touchdown to interception ratio (72:30.)
                The Bad: Since the NFL merger (1970), among all 186 quarterbacks with at least 1,500 attempts throughout their careers, only David Carr has a worse Sack%+ (era-adjusted sack percentage) than Kaepernick. In the PFF era (2007-present), among all quarterbacks with 1,500 dropbacks, no quarterback has been sacked more often than Kaepernick, getting sacked on 8.3 percent of his dropbacks.
                Since 2012, Kaepernick ranks 15th in passer rating of 30 quarterbacks to total at least 1,000 pass attempts. He also ranks third-best of these 30 quarterbacks in rushing yardage.
                Kaepernick’s passer rating and touchdown to interception ratio are constantly being referenced by his proponents in arguments for why he’s unjustly unemployed. I’m not sure that’s right, however. Really, I think they’re highlighting a major flaw in traditional passing stats – that they neglect how often a quarterback is getting sacked. Sacks are major drive-killers, in that they result in the loss of a down and negative yardage.

    2. Kaepernick, quick twitch? What? Kaepernick was a lot of things, but quick twitch is not one of them. It took him three or four strides to get up to his straight line full speed, and he wasn’t particularly agile in terms of lateral mobility, in part because he was long legged and a little bit gangly. That’s the opposite of quick twitch, Sourdough.

      Trey Lance is twitchy, He’s not quick twitch twitchy like Lamar, but he’s plenty twitchy, and he has fantastic lateral agility for his size. His running ability is ++ . Plus, Trey’s an instinctive scrambler, and he keeps his eyes focused downfield when he’s on the move but behind the LOS, which is ideal for any QB.

      Unfortunately for Lance, he was drafted by a head coach who doesn’t seem very interested in developing him, or developing an offense that takes advantage of his skill set. I feel bad for the kid. People, myself included, thought that Trey was drafted into the best situation of all the top rookie QB prospects. That opinion was bolstered by Kyle Shanahan’s work with RG3. He helped RG3 win OROY and he was voted into the Pro Bowl as a rookie QB. Not only that, RG3 took the Redskins to the postseason during his rookie season.

      However, unlike RG3, Trey Lance is running the team’s Scout Team. That’s a far cry from being a starting QB. And the thing is, it’s not like RG3 was a better pocket passer coming out of Baylor. At least not as it pertains to Shanahan. RG3 ran the “Veer and Shot” spread offense at Baylor, which has very different route concepts than Kyle’s west coast style passing attack.

      The bottom line is that Kyle Shanahan appears to be phoning it in this season. His game plans have been lackluster and uninspired, and he’s been unable to make any effective mid-game adjustments. I say Jed should look into trading Kyle to Las Vegas if they can, and then he should hire a HC who is actually excited about the idea of developing Trey Lance, because he’s a modern day QB, he’s young, and he has a very bright future!

      And Kyle? I think his days as a head coach are numbered!

      1. I mean, Garoppolo is in his 4th full season as the 49ers starting QB, and at times, he still looks like a rookie. He should be much more efficient in this offense, and look much more comfortable in this system by now, and to me, part of that is on Kyle Shanahan. Jimmy really gives this team the bare minimum from the QB position. He plays just well enough for the 49ers to win, provided the 49ers run game is clicking, and the team is also playing well in both of the other two phases. That’s not nearly good enough for a QB who’s has a cap hit of over $26M this season, with his salary scheduled to go up next season. But the thing is, ShanaLynch are well aware of this. Jimmy’s limitations are not a secret, and Kyle’s frustration with Jimmy is also not a secret.

      1. It never hurts to have Dak, Zeke, Ceedee, Cooper and a top 5 O Line.

        We could have drafted CeeDee or Jeudy.

  13. Since the year 2000, 50 NFL coaches have been with one team for at least parts of five seasons.

    Kyle Shanahan’s .449 winning % with the 49ers ranks 46th out of 50.

    The only head coaches with worse winning % in that group are:

    47th – Jay Gruden .418 – Washington
    48th – Jeff Fisher .409 – Rams
    49th – Jim Schwartz .363 – Lions
    50th – Doug Marrone .348 – Jaguars

  14. Question to Jack or anyone else who has the answer:
    How many of Lance’s 16 runs were designed run (vs. scrambles in broken plays, and those with an option to throw, e.g., the 4th down play at goal line)?

    1. The short answer is: too many.

      Not sure what Shanny is up to but some of the decisions are real head scratchers at times.

      Could be worse I guess. What if we had a buffoon like Matt Nagy coaching the team AND calling he plays.

      1. That is one too many designed runs…Too many empty backfield… And too many passes (29) for any rookie’s 1st start!
        Over 80% of the offense came from Lance! This from the one of the youngest rookie QB ever… JG was not even asked this much in the playoff run of 2019. WTH Kyle?

      2. Thats 3 more designed runs than any RB on the 49er roster. Way too many. And whats worse is many of those designed runs were into the teeth of the defense where you had to expect the QB to get hit before he had the chance to slide. I really hated how KS used TL in this game. Hopefully everyone learns from it and moves on.

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