The San Francisco 49ers lost starting quarterback Trey Lance for the season to a broken ankle during Sunday's win over the Seattle Seahawks, but some within the organization reportedly believe they may be better suited for a Super Bowl run now that Jimmy Garoppolo is under center.
"This is the part no one wants to say publicly, but something several players and coaches enunciated privately in the wake of Sunday’s game—the 49ers are a better team right now with Garoppolo at quarterback than they were with Lance," Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote.
Two sources even told Silver, "I can't say it, but you can."
It seemed almost inevitable when the 49ers decided to keep Garoppolo this offseason instead of trading him that there would be a point this season when some questioned whether he should be the starter.
After all, he is 33-14 as a starter in his career and led the team to the NFC Championship Game last season and the Super Bowl during the 2019 campaign.
Any Lance struggles, which there were plenty of in a season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears, and the questions about Garoppolo would naturally follow.
However, a serious injury to Lance is not how anyone—even those who believe the team is better with the veteran under center—wanted to get to the point that Garoppolo was back as the quarterback moving forward.
The one silver lining is that it is hard to find a better insurance policy than a signal-caller who is familiar with head coach Kyle Shanahan's system. Garoppolo has largely done nothing but win with the talented supporting cast around him to this stage of his career.
He won again Sunday while going 13-of-21 for 154 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions and running for another score. It was a Garoppolo-like performance where he didn't dazzle with any incredible individual plays but did enough to put his team in position to win.
That formula has worked for the 49ers in the past, and some within the organization believe it will for the rest of this year as well.