To start the rookie, or to not start the rookie? A question that has been asked I don't know ... once or twice before?
After a calf injury sidelined starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the entire second half of the 49ers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, rookie QB Trey Lance was thrown into the fire and looked pretty good after a slow start in the third quarter.
As Garoppolo continues to nurse what has been determined to be a calf-contusion, it remains to be seen which of the two quarterbacks will start Sunday's Week 5 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
Former 49ers' linebacker and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Takeo Spikes explained why he believes Lance should be the starting quarterback moving forward.
"I’m going to say you go with Trey Lance," Spikes said. "The reason why? Jimmy G has given you the best of what he possibly could, up until he had a strained calf muscle after the first quarter of the Seattle Seahawks game. Now you embrace what Trey Lance brings to the table. What exactly is that? RPOs, formations, being in position to have RPOs and to create confusion on the defensive side. When you’re able to do that, now you bring another element to the table where teams have to defend.”
With Lance, opposing defenses have to prepare for many additional reads and concepts, as opposed to the less-mobile, pocket-passing Garoppolo.
“We all know that Trey Lance can make every throw," Spikes added. "One of the big knocks on Jimmy G was that this team was not throwing the ball down the football field. When you don’t do that, defenses have a tendency to stay in their respective spots and say ‘I’ll stack the box until you make me un-stack the box.’ This is what Trey Lance brings to the table.”
In addition to his physical traits as a player, Lance has the leadership qualities and personality that the 49ers' offense could benefit from.
“Last, but not least, I would like to say his charisma," Spikes said. "Kyle Jusczyzk said it in the postgame interview. There are only a few guys in the National Football League that have this presence, that has this charisma, that brings this certain type of energy inside of that huddle, to make you believe that everything is going to be okay. They know what he can do because they see it every day in practice. Now it’s time to ride Trey Lance’s coattail so the belief and hope can come back inside of that 49ers locker room.”
Whether it's Garoppolo or Lance on Sunday, the 49ers will have their hands full with the undefeated, NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals.