Report: Anonymous 49ers admit team is better with Jimmy G originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers find themselves in an awkward position.
San Francisco already was all-in on the 2022 NFL season with second-year quarterback Trey Lance running the show. But with the 22-year-old ruled out for the season with an ankle injury and veteran Jimmy Garoppolo stepping in as the starter under center, is the team in a better position to win?
A couple of 49ers teammates reportedly think so.
"Thirdly -- and 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 Sunday night.
"As two of these realists told me after the game, 'I can’t say it, but you can.' "
Those anonymous comments are consistent with the recent changes to the 49ers' odds to win Super Bowl LVII.
Our partners at PointsBet had the 49ers listed at +2000 to win the Super Bowl prior to Sunday's game. But with Garoppolo under center, San Francisco jumped to +1800, meaning a $100 bet would win $1,800.
It's difficult to judge Lance's 2022 performance, considering it only lasted five quarters. In Week 1, Lance battled through a downpour at Soldier Field and finished with 164 yards on 13-of-28 passing in a disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears.
Lance was making just his fourth career start Sunday in the 49ers' 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks before suffering the season-ending injury. He completed two passes for 30 yards and rushed three times for 13 yards over the team's first 16 snaps at Levi's Stadium.
He began the game by guiding San Francisco inside the 5-yard line on the team's first offensive drive and had the team rolling again into field-goal range on the next possession before exiting the game with the injury.
The 49ers' ensuing drive featured Garoppolo under center. In four plays, San Francisco swiftly moved 62 yards down the field, capped off by Ross Dwelley's 38-yard touchdown.
“I thought he did a real good job coming off the bench, made some real key throws," coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garoppolo after Sunday's game. "... Especially, it was tough when we lost our run game a little bit there in the third [quarter], early fourth because it was a little tougher to throw there when the rain started coming.
"But I’m real proud of Jimmy and how he came in and was ready for the moment and helped us get a win.”
Are the 49ers in a better position to win with Garoppolo in the short term? Perhaps, considering Lance's inexperience.
But San Francisco is missing out on an opportunity to truly discover the ceiling -- for better or worse -- of the quarterback they drafted to lead the franchise for the next decade.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.