Whitner: How 49ers made Lance's job vs. Bears too difficult originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With the 49ers' first game of the 2022 NFL season in the books, it's safe to say that many were not impressed with how Trey Lance and the rest of the team struggled against the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
Fans can add NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner to that list.
Following the team's 19-10 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field, Whitner shared why he thinks the 49ers made 22-year-old Lance's job "a lot more difficult" than it had to be in the latest "Hitner's Hot Take."
"Of course, they had some dropped balls in the rain, receivers not being able to get their footing or grip the football," Whitner said. "But they weren't able to get to the running game with efficiency."
Whitner added that the 49ers' offense is predicated on running the ball and getting open receivers down the field because of how disciplined defenses are in the NFL.
"Even though the offensive line played better than I thought they would, there was a lot of interior pressure, forcing Trey Lance to have to sift through and make some difficult throws on the run and decisions," Whitner continued.
Regarding Whitner's claim about the 49ers' running game against the Bears, Lance led the team with 54 rushing yards on 13 carries while Deebo Samuel had 52 yards on eight carries with a touchdown.
Both teams rushed 37 times, with the 49ers accruing almost 100 more yards than the Bears (176 to 99). That said, whether it was the rain or just jitters, the 49ers weren't able to capitalize on their advantage, especially with a weapon like Samuel at their disposal.
However, with an injured Elijah Mitchell expected to miss significant time, the 49ers' run game will undoubtedly take a hit, and Samuel et al. will have to carry more of a load on offense.
At any rate, Whitner believes that the team will be prepared for their Week 2 matchup at Levi's Stadium.
"I fully expect Kyle Shanahan, this offense, defense to get back together, be diligent in their work, and hit the field ready to defeat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday," Whitner concluded.
Despite Sunday's less-than-stellar result, many -- like FOX sports analyst Skip Bayless -- still believe in Lance's ability to lead the 49ers to victory this season.
With Lance himself understanding he has improvements to make, fans have to like the 49ers' chances against the Seahawks on Sunday.