Why 49ers can win NFC West with Trey Lance, per Mike Garafolo

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Why Garafolo believes 49ers can win NFC West with Lance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers have stated it time and time again: Jimmy Garoppolo is the starting quarterback heading into the 2021 season. 

They've made it abundantly clear that they anticipate Garoppolo playing under center to begin the season, but that doesn't mean we won't see rookie quarterback Trey Lance sooner rather than later. 

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo anticipates the 49ers making a change at the position mid-season, claiming that Lance is already mentally prepared for the opportunity. 

"It's just that Trey Lance from what I gather has already shown up there and proven that he is mentally at this stage of the game a lot more than maybe people thought," Garafolo told "Good Morning Football" on Monday. "And I feel bad for Jimmy, but there's nothing Jimmy can do to stave that off."

With Garoppolo more than likely to start out of the gate for the 49ers, could the team make a midseason change and still have a chance at winning the NFC West, let alone making the playoffs?

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"I still like the 49ers, sans that injury karma," Garafolo added. "And here's the interesting part to me -- I think the 49ers could make the playoffs and win the division and still have a quarterback change in the middle of the season," Garafolo said. "I truly believe that. Now that's not a knock on Jimmy G."

Lance, who only played one game last season at North Dakota State, is likely to handle most of the 49ers' preseason reps. If he continues to shine in practice and is able to excel in preseason games, there's a chance the rookie could force his way into a starting role sooner rather than later. 

"If Trey Lance is lighting it up in the preseason and he's showing them day in and day out, maybe in practice and whatnot, they're going to make the change," Garafolo said. "And they're going to go to him when he's ready, no matter what Jimmy does."

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