Let's just say, the 49ers have had better vibes.
It's bleak right now for San Francisco. The 49ers just got embarrassed in a 31-17 loss to a significantly shorthanded Arizona Cardinals team in Week 9, and will next take on another divisional powerhouse in the Los Angeles Rams on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10. A victory could go a long way toward reviving San Francisco's dwindling playoff hopes. A loss, depending on its severity, could establish an even lower point than last week.
So, where do the 49ers go from here? For NBC Sports Bay Area's Takeo Spikes, the answer is quite obvious:
Play Trey Lance.
"What can provide this team a spark? Now they're fighting for an opportunity to get the last Wild Card playoff spot, so what do you do? Well, I look at what's going on around the league," Spikes said on the "Behind the Mask" podcast. "You look at [New England Patriots rookie quarterback] Mac Jones, he's taken his bumps while he's on the job. You look at Chicago, when you look at [Bears rookie QB] Justin Fields, why can't Trey Lance have the same opportunities?"
Jones currently has the Patriots at 5-4, just a half-game off the AFC East lead. Fields has significantly improved since the start of the season, as the 49ers saw firsthand in their 33-22 win over the Bears in Week 8. Neither of their teams entered the season with as high of expectations as the 49ers did, but obviously, circumstances have changed.
Spikes acknowledges Lance's inexperience and isn't necessarily calling for him to start. But he believes the time is right to give him more opportunities.
"I understand that he is raw, he's green, but now is a great time to give him the opportunity to be that quarterback and take the next step," Spikes added. "I think it's time to be more intentional with Trey Lance and give him the opportunity to make plays, and create that silver lining to where it will ensure that the team will get better throughout the year -- and possibly -- you may have to look at next year."
Lance won't start against the Rams, though it remains to be seen if he'll get increased playing time. Of course, if the 49ers lose on Monday night, that could expedite how quickly the keys are handed over to him for good.