Injuries Abide but Hope Remains

Injuries Abide but Hope Remains

Once again, injuries are taking their toll on the 49ers. Robbie Gould suited up, but didn’t play due to a groin injury. Jimmy Garoppolo sat out the second half of the game due to a calf injury. Trent Williams came out of the game twice due to dehydration and an elbow injury. He did not return. The 49ers are on their third starting cornerback and their fifth starting running back in their fifth game of the season. Injuries are a part of the game, however it seems they are a part of the 49ers existence.

While Trey Lance exhibited flashes of brilliance, this is still Jimmy G’s team. He has the experience. He has the touch. He also has the mastery of the offense. What he lacks is consistency. He is also brittle. At this point, Coach Shanahan will likely vote for experience over potential, so long as Jimmy G can stay upright. He needs wins. He has a team built to win. He needs to win for his veterans who know this team is built to win. However, Jimmy G is on the clock. He has not been consistent when he needs to be. He has not taken advantage of all of his opportunities. Trey Lance showed that he is capable of learning quickly and leading the offense to success, but he still needs work.

The Niners offense started the game well. Jimmy G marched the team down the field, hitting 5 different receivers culminating in a touchdown pass to Ross Dwelly. This is the first opening drive the 49ers have scored on this season. The Niners defense started the game in true old-school fashion. The 49ers defense forced 5 punts to start the game. All 5 punts were three and outs. Conversely, the 49ers offense failed to perform and play off the defensive successes. Instead, Jimmy G threw an interception, Mitch Wishnowsky missed a field goal and punted it three times. The defense can’t be perfect the whole game. They gave up a touchdown late in the first half.

In the end, despite the inconsistent play of the offense, the difference in today’s game was special teams. Late in the 3rd quarter Trenton Cannon muffs the kickoff, recovers, attempts to run and fumbles it away to the Seahawks. Two plays later the Seahawks go up two scores on the 49ers.

Trey Lance is still a very raw quarterback. That is to be expected. He is a rookie. He only played one game in 2020 and he did not perform well for the Bison. He was tasked with leading the 49ers in the second half due to Jimmy G’s calf injury. His first possession was all handoffs. His second possession he threw two incomplete passes. His third possession he found an uncovered Deebo Samuel for 76 yards and a touchdown. His fourth possession he threw an incomplete and was sacked. His Fifth possession he had several successful scrambles and a completion but they turned the ball over on downs. Trey Lance’s last possession was a culmination of all the things he learned in 30 minutes of being the 49ers signal caller. He led a 13 play 80 yard drive, connecting on six passes to include a touchdown pass to Mohammed Sanu. He also had several key runs for first downs as well as a two point conversion. Lance’s last drive showed us what the future looks like. Trey Lance is raw. He has a lot to learn. He also showed us that he is a gamer and has the raw material to be successful. Lastly, he showed us that he learns from his mistakes. He is hard on himself. That bodes well for his future and the future of the 49ers.

The clutch player of the game is Deebo Samuel. He is also the most improved player on offense. He is growing into a true number one receiver and both quarterbacks are going to need that moving forward.

This is a tough loss to swallow. Any divisional loss is a hard to overcome. However, there are still 13 games left. A lot can happen in the season. The Cardinals are hot and the leaders of the division. History has shown that the NFC West eats its own. That lead won’t last.

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