Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Baldy on 49ers’ QB battle: “Trey Lance isn’t winning this job in the next two weeks”

Aug 17, 2021 at 8:46 AM--

Trey Lance's performance on Saturday night was full of hits and misses. Obviously, one of the "hits" was the San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback hitting wide receiver Trent Sherfield for an 80-yard touchdown pass that left fans in awe.

Pro Football Focus recently wrote, "Lance's first preseason performance is an example of the power that one splash play can have when it comes to public perception."

The analytics site noted that fewer than 40 percent of Lance's pass attempts were charted as accurate. The rookie completed just five of his 14 attempts, had three turnover-worthy plays, and was sacked four times.

What did NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger take away from Lance's NFL debut?

"I thought he looked good," Baldinger said on Tuesday during a conversation on 95.7 The Game's The Morning Roast. "I saw Brandon Aiyuk drop his first pass right in his hands. I saw drops throughout the day. I mean, Richie James, whatever. But I thought he looked good.

"I thought, first of all, impressed by his overall size and just his stature. I mean, he's a big, strong-looking kid. He looks like that under center. He looks like that when he stands in the pocket. He's got a fireball. He's got a good fastball.

"So, I thought he was impressive, to be honest with you. I don't care what the stats say. I thought it was an impressive debut by Trey."

And that 80-yard touchdown pass — wow. It was on the money, despite Lance rolling to his left and throwing across the field to hit Sherfield down the right side. The play left some wondering if Lance can show enough over the next two weeks to somehow show that he, not Jimmy Garoppolo, might be the best option to start Week 1.

Baldinger thinks that kind of discussion should be tabled.

"They're going to need both quarterbacks, period," Baldinger said. "Trey Lance isn't winning this job in the next two weeks. I just think that's kind of a reach to think that's possible."

That doesn't mean Baldinger feels Lance will remain on the sideline for the entire opening game against the Detroit Lions. On the contrary, as he said in the past, Baldinger fully experts the 49ers to feature plays utilizing the rookie quarterback.

"He's too big, he's too good of a runner for a team that likes to run the football," Baldinger said. "I think there will be packages for Trey Lance."

While the analyst believes Lance will benefit from more practice and preseason reps, he feels the 49ers can win 11 or 12 games if Garoppolo starts all 17 games this season. That may be too enticing to swap him out for an inexperienced rookie.

Added Baldinger: "I think this is Jimmy's team right now."

You can listen to the whole conversation with Baldinger below.

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