David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports


Mike McDaniel evaluates performances of 49ers QBs Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance in Week 1

Sep 17, 2021 at 9:02 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers escaped Ford Field with a 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 1. The offense put up 442 total yards in the effort.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 17 of his 25 attempts for 314 passing yards and a touchdown in his 2021 regular-season debut. That's a 68.0 completion percentage. The No. 3 overall draft pick, Trey Lance, completed 100 percent of his pass attempts. Of course, he only made one attempt. That attempt went to wide receiver Trent Sherfield for a five-yard touchdown, though.

Lance was in the game for four snaps. Garoppolo had 51 snaps. It wasn't the quarterback rotation that most anticipated going into the game. The rookie was expected to see the field more, something the Lions undoubtedly prepared for. That didn't happen.

Garoppolo did look sharper than he has in past Week 1 efforts. If that carries over into the rest of the season, it could mean a productive year for the 49ers offense.

"It was really awesome to watch Jimmy play this past game," offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said on Thursday. "The coolest part was Jimmy is a player that plays his best in game situations, in tight pockets. And historically, I think he would say this himself, the first game of the season, he's a little amped up, and you're just not used to getting hit.

"This game was by far the best that he's had in those terms. He was awesome with the ball, protected it, saw the field. It was very encouraging how he played, and we were all pumped, and I think the numbers speak for that."

What about the rookie? What did McDaniel think about Lance in his limited playing time? Was there any disappointment in his three credited rushing attempts for two total yards?

"No, plays are plays in football," McDaniel responded. "If you could predict the outcome, everyone would do those plays. ... I think, in his opportunities, he did right by what we presented him. There was a couple of situations that I, as the offensive coordinator, and I know [head coach Kyle Shanahan] looks at it this way, and [offensive passing game specialist] Bobby Slowik looks at this way, and everyone looks at it like, 'Hey, it's my fault. We didn't put him in the right position.' But he had nothing that came up in that game that we're like, 'Oh, you should get better at this or that.'

"I think his second pass or his second play—first pass in the NFL—was a touchdown. We were pretty happy about that. And then there were a couple of run looks that weren't the best, that we kind of put him at a disadvantage, which we're okay with, he's okay with, and we're moving forward with it."





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