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NFL Draft

Who Should Be 49ers’ Starting QB in Week 8?

  • The Draft Network
  • October 25, 2021
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The San Francisco 49ers looked rather pitiful in Sunday night’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The defeat dropped the 49ers to 2-4 on the season, and their margin for error in an ultra-competitive NFC West has quickly vanished. Head coach Kyle Shanahan called offensive plays like a man that has little faith remaining in his signal-caller, and his curious post-game comments only furthered that sentiment. 

Jimmy Garoppolo completed just 16-of-27 passes for 181 yards, a single touchdown, and two back-breaking interceptions. Garoppolo also fumbled on two occasions. All in all, the former New England Patriot was responsible for an unacceptable three turnovers and didn’t give his team a chance to win on Sunday.

It represented yet another poor showing for Garoppolo, who is inevitably on borrowed time as the 49ers’ starter. Shanahan must now make a monumental decision regarding the starting quarterback position ahead of San Francisco's crucial Week 8 contest against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. The answer should be rather straightforward. It’s time for Shanahan to usher in a new era. It's time to hand the reins over to Trey Lance, assuming he's past a knee injury that hampered his ability to practice and handle a full workload ahead of Week 7.

If named the starter, Lance is going to take his bumps as a first-year quarterback navigating the waters of complex NFL defenses and coverage schemes. There will be growing pains in relation to processing and working through progressions. Those issues were unfortunately well on display during Lance’s first career start, a Week 5 loss to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals that saw Lance complete just 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards and an interception. The tape revealed similar areas of concern that plagued Lance at North Dakota State at times. Lance also rushed for 89 yards on 16 rushing attempts and gives the 49ers something that Garoppolo does not—the physical upside to make plays with both his arm and legs. Lance presents more playmaking upside than Garoppolo, both in the present and certainly in the future.

The permanent switch from Garoppolo to Lance is inevitable and Garoppolo’s less-than-desirable play has failed to delay the process any further. It’s time for Shanahan to make the obvious choice.

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