Trey Lance is about to begin his third NFL season, and the No. 3 draft picks are expected to be taking their places soon.
Lance’s career seems stagnant. Despite not receiving much help from his backline, he appeared vulnerable during the San Francisco 49ers’ preseason opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. He also struggled with many of his dropbacks, which is not unusual for a quarterback who hasn’t played since the 2019 college season. Additionally, there were numerous errors on his part.
It’s not a given that Lance or Sam Darnold will be the 49ers’ second quarterback, as it is unlikely that either of them will make it there. He also had some solid stats in his last game, including four sacks and one interception (one in the end zone), which helped him get 10 out of 15 yards to put up for good numbers against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Although the regular season is still on its way, Lance’s preseason performance wasn’t without complications. He had a solid drive, but the 49ers lost by three runs in the first three drives. His fourth drive resulted in ten touchdowns, and he made an unfortunate mistake by throwing into traffic in his end zone position. Raiders cornerback Duke Shelley missed an interception, which landped in at tight end Ross Dwelley. It wasn’t purely humbling for Lance.
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It wasn’t another three-and-out, at least.
Lance’s efforts on the first drive of the 49ers were successful as he scored twice on pass attempts and allowed the Raiders defense to close in. He was dismissed from his position twice.
The 49ers were dealt another third down on their second drive. Lance’s defense appeared to be struggling, but he quickly made a mistake and was incomplete over the middle. It resulted in another three-and-out.
The third drive was characterized by the same situation. Lance appeared to be indecisive and slow-moving after making a play-action pass on first down, then overthrew his target for an incompletion. He did however exhibit some athleticism on second down by running away from the rush and recovering 1-2 yards on rushing and then failed to pull off another sack on third down. Once again, the 49ers went three-and-out.
Despite the mistakes, Lance’s performance improved after that.
In the second quarter, Lance scored a first down with 11 minutes remaining when he quickly ran out to the tight end. He then scrambled to his right and found Willie Snead for 12 yards, scoring surprisingly well at the end of the possession but making sloppy moves that day.
The offensive line allowed Lance to run for first down but he missed and took a sack. However, despite his good play, including an accurate strike over the middle to Chris Conley on third-and-10, the drive came to naughty by the time defender’s call on the fourth side.
The Raiders’ preseason game on Sunday saw Trey Lance, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, start play. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Lance threw the ball in the middle, and on the final drive of the half, his eyes were read by linebacker Amari Burney, who then broke it down and dropped an interception. Conley caught one ball from Lance for 24 yards, while tight end Troy Fumagalli scored 22 yards after receiving a defensive penalty. Jake Moody also missed the field goal attempt as the 49ers tied the game at 1-1. Darnold started the second half with he was able to start the first three minutes of play.
The offensive line didn’t work well for Lance, as his receiving targets were just backups and not starters. It wasn’ a poor situation in any way, but it didn’t make him do the job either.
Lance’s trade to the 49ers is a shameful one, especially since San Francisco traded three first-round picks and he has only made two starts in four games. He has also had just two wins overall and less than half fewer passing attempts. Injuries have limited his success for the team, and starting and finishing games look promising.
The 49ers’ No. 1 quarterback, Purdy, was the only one who faced any questioning about his health. After offseason surgery, the team had to check if his elbow was healthy before allowing him to practice. There was no controversy.
It’s possible that Lance will be given the backup position or he can generate enough activity during the rest of the preseason to create a trade market for his services. The initial indications were uncertain.