Despite many calling for the rookie to take over for Jimmy Garoppolo as the offense sputtered, NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers analyst Joe Staley explained why he believes it was a wise decision to keep Lance on the shelf.
“It was a game where there really wasn’t an opportunity for him to come in,” Staley said on 49ers Postgame Live. “Once they operated and started moving the chains, Jimmy was operating very effectively in the offense. It’s a completely different dynamic, especially playing on the road in a hostile environment to bring Trey in and have the mesh points.
“It’s a completely different offensive system, and I think it was a smart decision because Jimmy was playing so well today to keep Trey on the bench.”
Garoppolo completed 22 of 30 pass attempts for 189 yards and a touchdown. After three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game, the group did appear to settle in and put together solid drives the rest of the way. NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers analyst Takeo Spikes saw fans vying on Twitter to bring Lance in, but emphatically told them to “pump the brakes.”
“You can say, well the guys didn’t do anything. Man, Philadelphia’s defense gets paid too, and they’re a pretty good defense,” Spike said. “And so when you look at this win overall, the way that they did it, they have a lot to be proud of getting on that plane heading back to Santa Clara.”
Lance played four snaps in Week 1, throwing one pass for a touchdown to Trent Sherfield and carrying the ball three times for 2 yards. While the 49ers did experiment with swapping Garoppolo and Lance out mid-drive during the preseason, the tight nature of Sunday’s game didn’t seem to allow for many opportunities for Lance.
It might make more sense to give Lance extra playing time when the 49ers are in the friendly confines of Levi’s Stadium, especially if they can build a lead over an opponent.
Fans might be clamoring for Lance to take over, but ultimately Kyle Shanahan still believes Garoppolo gives the 49ers the best chance to win.
So far, the 49ers are 2-0, although neither win has been as pretty as hoped. Regardless, as long as the Niners keep winning, Garoppolo likely isn’t going anywhere.