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Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Trey Lance: How WR battle looks after Week 2 preseason game

We take a look at how 49ers QBs Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance looked in Week 2 of the NFL preseason and how the depth chart battle is trending.

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers throws in front of Kyler Fackrell #52 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of a preseason game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers faced the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 and continued to give rookie quarterback Trey Lance an extended look. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have repeatedly stated Jimmy Garoppolo is their Week 1 starter. There is no reason to think that will change with Garoppolo getting the first series for a second straight week but nothing more.

Week 2 preseason reps, stats

Jimmy Garoppolo (1 series): 3/6, 15 yards, 1 INT, 10 rushing yards

Trey Lance (6 series): 8/14, 102 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 8 rushing yards

Who has the edge in the QB battle entering Week 3 of the 2021 NFL preseason?

UPDATE: After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan would not name Garoppolo his Week 1 starter, but he did say the situation was “pretty similar” to how it was at the start of camp when he said Garoppolo was the leader at the QB position. This leaves the door open for Lance, but suggests Garoppolo remains QB1.

This seems to be pretty settled as Garoppolo’s job. Even beyond how either quarterback performed, the team’s willingness to give Garoppolo only one series for a second straight week suggests they are fairly settled with him in his spot.

That being said, after a slow start, Lance impressed in the final drive of the second quarter and a mid-third quarter drive. He made a big pass to Trent Sherfield in the former drive that was set up by a good route and capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu. On the latter drive, he completed all three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown pass on a bullet to Travis Benjamin. Add in an eight-yard scramble and those two drives showed why the 49ers climbed up to draft him.

Lance showed the inconsistency you’ll get from a rookie, and particularly one who only played a single game last year due to COVID-19 shutting down the fall FCS season. Lance needs to work on his touch — choosing a fastball when there are times a changeup is a better call — but he is showing a whole lot. It seems highly unlikely he’s starting Week 1, but he’s clearly the future of this franchise.