Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Orlovsky says 49ers not a championship-caliber team with Jimmy Garoppolo, expresses concern for Trey Lance

Sep 19, 2022 at 9:20 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl odds saw a slight boost thanks to a Week 2 win and the switch at quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo replaces starter Trey Lance, who suffered a broken ankle in the Niners' 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks and will undergo season-ending surgery today.

Keeping Garoppolo on a restructured one-year deal now seems like the 49ers' best offseason move. Once seen as an unnecessary luxury, holding onto the veteran quarterback keeps the team competitive this season.

One ESPN analyst, Dan Orlovsky, doesn't agree with oddsmakers, though. He doesn't believe the 49ers are better equipped to make a championship run with Garoppolo at the helm.

"No, they're not [better equipped]," Orlovsky said on ESPN's Get Up. "We know who this 49ers team is with Jimmy Garoppolo. They're good, but they're not championship caliber. This is not the same defense that they've had in the years past."

That last comment is interesting, as many believe the 49ers' defense may be among the best in the league this season. It may be the best unit they've had since 2019 when they reached the Super Bowl.

"The reason they got Trey Lance or [went] to go get Trey Lance, and gave him the job, [is] because they wanted more and better out of their quarterback position," Orlovsky continued. "They're going to be really good, but they're still going to be kept at a ceiling of 'Can Jimmy G take them to places that he hasn't been able to?'

"And we can say, 'Well, they were in the Super Bowl.' Yeah, but they didn't get that done, and it was because of a missed post."

Rex Ryan disagrees with his ESPN colleague.

"Injuries happen in the NFL," Ryan said. "They have a better chance of winning a Super Bowl with Jimmy G than they would with Trey Lance right now because of the experience factor. ... Hell, he's gotten to so many big games before. Will he win it? I don't know. But he can get you there. That, for sure, we know."

In addition to being unsure about the 49ers' Super Bowl chances with Garoppolo at quarterback, the analyst expressed concern regarding Lance's development and what yet another season of minimal play means for the former No. 3 overall pick.

"My fear is that this is three years now of Trey Lance going really long times without playing football," Orlovsky said. "That's a big deal. He didn't play his last year of college (due to COVID protocols). He didn't play much last year (as Garoppolo's backup). And he's not going to play much this year. I hope he's going to be just fine. But his development, which is so paramount, is three years without playing football at that position. That's brutal, man."


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