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The 49ers Can Win with All Three

Jul 2, 2023 at 11:40 AM

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The 2023 San Francisco 49ers are in a peculiar situation at the quarterback position. Though the problem seems odd, the 49ers can still win with any of the three quarterbacks on their roster.

In 2022, Brock Purdy shocked the world. He went from being Mr. Irrelevant to the most exciting quarterback to watch that season. Purdy entered that season as the number three option, and due to injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy kept the wheels turning for the 49ers. In fact, after the insertion of Purdy, the team averaged over 30 points per game and didn't lose until the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles, where Purdy was injured.

With the return of Purdy being somewhat an unknown, he has done enough in the eyes of head coach Kyle Shanahan to be the number one option at quarterback. The only question about Purdy's return is whether he will be the same quarterback he was before his injury. Purdy has the uncanny ability to get through his progressions quickly and make accurate throws. There's no doubt that a healthy Purdy, the starter, will help his team trend in the right direction early.

Lance was the 49ers' first-round pick in 2021. He is the player with the least experience but possesses specific attributes that the other quarterbacks lack. Lance has only played in eight games and started four, owning a 2-2 record (.500) as an NFL starter. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Seahawks game, leaving veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to finish the game and take over as the starter.

There are two attributes Lance could add to the 49ers for the team to be successful. He has a strong arm, and throwing the ball deep could stretch the field for the team. His ability to run the football can help the 49ers win as well. Although Lance may not be the best mobile quarterback, his ability to run as another option will force defenses to play 11-on-11 football. NFL defenses will not be able to stack the box as often due to his ability to run the ball up the middle.

Lance running up the middle on a power QB run injured him in the first place, but the more successful Lance is running the ball, the more it keeps the defenses playing honest. If Lance continues progressing with his base, footwork, and accuracy, the team will trend in the right direction and start well.

Sam Darnold, a former first-round pick of the New York Jets, signed as a free agent with the 49ers. Darnold's upward trend happened in Carolina, where it seems it caught the eye of head coach Kyle Shanahan. He has flaws with the high interception ratio, so how can the 49ers win with Darnold? Darnold has a never-give-up type of significant playability. Much of his success happened after the play broke down.

Darnold's not going to threaten as a running quarterback. However, he does have the scramble feature, and once he gets going, good luck stopping him. Darnold also has a strong arm and can get the ball down the field to his playmakers. It seems Darnold is the combination of Purdy and Lance. If the 49ers ever found themselves in a similar situation in 2022, the 49ers, mainly Shanahan, have the utmost confidence in Darnold. If Darnold starts for the 49ers, he can win and keep the team trending upward.

In conclusion, the 49ers have a quarterback battle brewing in Santa Clara. The good news is the team has three competent quarterbacks with similar but different skill sets, and they all have won games as the starter. There's an old cliche that says, "If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback." Well, the 49ers have three quarterbacks, and they all have starting experience as well as backup experience. They all have won games and lost games. If all three quarterbacks remain healthy, the 49ers will win with all three.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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