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Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

49ers QB Trey Lance says he ‘made too many mistakes’ in loss to Bears

Sep 11, 2022 at 3:17 PM--

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Trey Lance kept his head up after losing his first start as the San Francisco 49ers' No. 1 quarterback, but it's obvious he felt at least somewhat responsible for his team's collapse in their 19-10 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday.

Lance was far from the only 49ers player to make costly miscues in the loss, as the 49ers committed 12 penalties to go with a number of other unforced errors while blowing a 10-point second half lead after being in control for much of the game. But Lance provided a laundry list of mistakes in his media session after the game, blaming himself for a key turnover, a few missed throws (most notably an overthrow of tight end Tyler Kroft on a possible scoring play in the first half) and a sack that may have taken points off the board.

"Man, I made too many mistakes," Lance told reporters after the loss. "The defense kept us in the game. Had a big miss to Tyler Kroft in the end zone. Tried to throw a perfect ball, should have just put it right on him and he was wide open. Turned the ball over, took a sack that knocked us out of field goal range that I shouldn't have. Missed Deebo (Samuel) on a third down. Missed another third down to Jauan (Jennings). Just too many mistakes. A lot of stuff to clean up for sure for me."

Lance was upbeat after the game about the road ahead, as he usually is ("I've still got my head up. I'm excited to get ready to go next week," Lance said). But turning the page to next Sunday's home opener against the Seattle Seahawks won't be as easy as it would have been if the 49ers had held onto their lead.

"When we lose, it's much tougher," Lance said. "Just frustrated with myself a little bit. I feel like I'm a lot better than that."

Lance's most costly error came in the fourth quarter when he threw an interception to Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson. The score was 13-10 at the time, but Jackson's interception gave the Bears possession deep in 49ers' territory, which led to a touchdown that put the game out of reach.

Lance told reporters he felt he did what he needed to do with his eyes to keep Jackson from making the interception but didn't make a good enough pass.

"It was robber (coverage) all the way," Lance said. "I tried to hold him, thought I held him well enough in my eyes (but) didn't. He made a great play, didn't throw a great ball."

The wet Chicago weather didn't help Lance's cause on Sunday, especially when heavy rain began to fall during the 49ers' comeback attempt in the fourth quarter. But Lance wasn't about to blame the weather, saying the 49ers should have iced the game long before conditions became poor.

"The fourth quarter for sure was the toughest," Lance said. "But man, we had so many opportunities. I had so many opportunities to make plays to run away with it far before that where that wouldn't have been as big of a factor."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was somewhat more positive about Lance's performance, saying the young quarterback started off well other than the overthrow to Kroft. But the second half was obviously a different story.

"I thought he did some good things coming out," Shanahan said. "I thought everything was pretty smooth from the beginning. I would have loved to hit on that one down in the red zone that we had Kroft, but he came back and made a big play the next series. I thought he did some good things, but the way it got there at the end, everything kind of fell apart there."

Left tackle Trent Williams liked the fact Lance put the loss on his own shoulders, saying, "It's why they handed him the keys to the organization. He's a mature dude. He's a great teammate." Williams also liked Lance's handling of adverse conditions, saying the quarterback never flinched when things started going the Bears' way.

"He was good," Williams said. "He was laid back, even when it was pouring down rain and a two-score game and we had to make something happen really quick. He didn't waver at all. He stayed calm, cool, collected."

Lance moved to 1-2 as an NFL starter with the loss and was reminded that teams need to perform for 60 minutes in order to win in the league, which is something he learned during his first NFL game in 2021 (a 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions in which the 49ers came close to blowing a 28-point lead). The 49ers didn't have as big of a cushion against the Bears on Sunday as they did in that game, and their failure to put the game out of reach when they had the chance cost them in the end.

"That's just how this league works," Lance said. "I learned that last year, Week 1. We had a similar opportunity to let someone hang around for too long. That's what happens. They made a couple big plays and I didn't."

Fortunately Lance came out of the loss to the Bears without any pain or injuries. He was taken to the ground a number of times, finishing with 54 yards on 13 carries. But there were no aftereffects from Sunday's game, which will leave him physically ready for next week.

"I feel great, honestly," Lance said. "Just a couple scratches honestly from the field. I didn't feel like I took any big hits."

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