Flashes of Brilliance amid Slow Start

Flashes of Brilliance amid Slow Start

The majority of first two quarters of this game was ugly. Missed assignments, high passes, dropped passes, poor blocking and a lack of juice marked much of the 1st and 2nd quarters. Perhaps practicing against the Chargers for the last 2 days dulled the senses. Thankfully Coach Shanahan and Trey Lance breathed some life into the team in the final 57 seconds of the first half.

I get it, Camp is hard. Its intense. However, it’s your dress rehearsal for the season. For many players it determines whether they have a team to play for. Camp determines who wants it more. It separates the men from the boys.

The first quarter of the 49ers second pre-season game is incapsulated in two words: butterfingers. Sure, Jimmy G’s and Trey Lance’s passes were a tad high, but they were still catchable. Yet, Aiyuk, and Sanu Jr. find ways NOT to catch the ball ending up in interceptions. Deebo also had a costly drop. Complicating matters, the 49ers back up left tackle needs to be solidified. Both QBs struggled with whoever was in at left tackle. Eventually Compton was able to hold it down for a bit. Even so, Lance had to speed up his process due to lack of competent protection. That is the bad.

The good. Trey Lance is RESILIENT! With 57 seconds to go he marched the team down the field to score a TD. Further, in the second half he put together another touchdown drive. Trey Lance stayed even keel. He is working thru the process. He showed he can deliver when it matters.

There is better. That defensive line is DEEP! Arik Armstead is in mid-season form. He was un-blockable. The Charges consistently ran away from him for a reason. Jordan Willis had steady pressure whenever he was in. His efforts were rewarded with a sack and a safety! Collectively the defensive line played extremely well as a unit. There will be some hard cuts to make in that position room. Looking at the defensive backs, Lenoir continued his high level of play, causing a 4th down on the Chargers first possession. Hufanga also flashed with several key tackles including a massive hit behind the line of scrimmage. Linebacker play was so so. It’s clear they miss Warner in the middle. It’s the pre-season. We will see him when it matters.

Let’s remember this is the pre-season. The defenses are semi vanilla. The offense isn’t scheming up the opposing defense. The take aways from this game are that Trey Lance works thru adversity. They show that he is growing comfortable with being uncomfortable. They show that once the offense starts scheming up against defenses, Lance will be able to execute when his time comes. This is still Jimmy G’s team. It will be for the foreseeable future. With or without Jimmy G, the future is BRIGHT!

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