That’s why the 49ers re-signed veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers think they have the ability to win a lot of games this season, whether it’s Trey Lance or Garoppolo.
The thinking, of course, is that if something happens to 22-year-old first-year starter Lance, the 49ers won’t have to tear up their 2022 target list.
What happened to Lance on Sunday.
In the first quarter of the 49ers’ 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the 49ers’ home opener at Levi’s Stadium, Lance was carried off the field with an airdrop in his right calf.
Immediately after the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Lance suffered a broken ankle and would undergo season-ending surgery on Monday.
This game means more to the 49ers than it does in the standings.
Here are the key takeaways from the 49ers’ victory, which tied the team’s record at 1-1 two games later:
Lance’s worst fear
The 49ers made a trade in the 2021 NFL Draft and invested in No. 1. He was selected No. 3 overall in Reims due to his unique combination of skills, believing he can play out of the pocket and create a lot of big yards with his athleticism and running skills.
Of course, that also means that whenever Shanahan calls out the quarterback’s number on the run, he gets hurt.
In preseason, when Lance actually performs a slip at the end of a game is a big deal.
We all saw what happens when a quarterback slips in Week 1. Of course, this is a prudent move. But in today’s NFL, it’s also smart offense. The 49ers were called to two unnecessarily rough penalties for late Justin Fields.
Perhaps, Lance can avoid injury by going through the slide. Instead, his right leg was awkwardly jammed by 345-pound Seattle defensive tackle Brian Mohn and linebacker Cody Barton.
It’s totally understandable that Shanahan would be criticized for using Lance.
But Lance’s dual-threat ability is why the 49ers valued him so much in the first place.
It’s all about Jimmy G – again
Garoppolo took a big pay cut to stay with the 49ers because he felt the situation in Santa Clara seemed to give him the best chance to rebuild the stock for the 2023 offseason.
Garoppolo will return as a starter for the 49ers for the foreseeable future after a long-term injury to Lance.
Oh, by the way, who needs a boot camp?
Not James Richard Garoppolo, that’s for sure.
Garoppolo cooled off on the 49ers’ sideline after not taking a break during training camp this summer.
Everyone assumes he won’t return to the 49ers this season until he signs a new contract that will take him a big pay cut after the preseason.
The 49ers led 20-0 in the second half, and Garoppolo was instrumental on 10 of 13 passes for 124 yards, including a 38 for tight end Ross De Willie. array.
In the game, Garoppolo made 13 passes of 21 times for 154 yards and 1 touchdown without being intercepted.
Garoppolo won the game with a stealth 1-yard touchdown run by the quarterback in the final two minutes.
All about defense, too
The 49ers played a big part in the special team in the first half, leading to a touchdown. The Special Team then gave up a touchdown in the third quarter on a blocked field goal.
So while offense and special teams may come and go, the 49ers are counting on DeMeco Ryans’ defense to stay together consistently.
The 49ers produced some important gains, including cornerback Charvarius Ward’s interception in the end zone on a centerback pass attempt from DeeJay Dallas.
Safety tower Sean Gibson intercepted Seahawks quarterback Gino Smith after Tarano Ahufanga blocked Tyler Lockett’s pass.
The 49ers defense put pressure on Seattle’s offense from start to finish. The defense didn’t allow a point, as the 49ers beat the Seahawks for only the fourth time in their past 21 meetings.
RELATED: Garoppolo makes immediate impact after Lance injury
Defensive end Nick Bosa registered 1.5 sacks. He teamed up with rookie Drake Jackson to fire in Game 3 and 12 midway through the fourth quarter, effectively shutting down Seattle’s hopes of a comeback.
The 49ers held the Seahawks to 216 yards with just 35 rushing yards (2.5 average). Seattle has converted just two of its seven 3-point declines (29 percent).
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