Trey Lance's overall performance against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was a step in the right direction following a very inconsistent effort in Week 1 of the preseason.
The rookie quarterback continued to make rookie mistakes, but far fewer of them compared to a week ago.
Playing six series total, Lance finished the game 8-of-14 passing with 102 yards, two touchdowns and threw one interception.
NFL Media's Brian Baldinger took to Twitter where he broke down Lance's outing from Sunday.
What stood out about his evaluation of Lance in this week's "Baldy's Breakdown," was his view on two inaccurate, but catchable passes Lance threw to receivers Deebo Samuel and Mohamed Sanu.
“Six-man pressure, we saw a lot of this last night," Baldinger said in regards to a dropped pass from Samuel over the middle of the field. "The pass-protection is great. I believe Deebo [Samuel] can catch that ball. Is it perfect? No, it’s not. It’s high, but it went right through his hands. If you look at Deebo at the end of the play, he feels like he should have caught it.”
The one obvious stain on Lance's stat-line Sunday is the interception.
A pass early in the second quarter from Lance bounced off the hands of Sanu and into the hands of Chargers corner Tevaughn Campbell for an interception. As was the case with the Samuel incompletion, Lance's throw to Sanu was off the mark, but still catchable.
“Protection is excellent," Baldinger said. "Set your feet and make the throw. [Mohamed] Sanu, can he catch it? Hell yeah he can catch it, he got both hands on it. Is it high? Yeah, it is, but still.”
On this play, in particular, there is blame to go around. Could Lance have made a better throw? Yes. Could Sanu have caught that pass? Also yes. Was the defender in the right place at the right time? Absolutely.
There is certainly plenty of context that can be added to both the good and the bad plays, which is important to remember.
Aside from the obvious critiques, Baldinger had plenty of praise for Lance's throwing motion and the velocity he slings the ball with.
“He’s just got a natural throwing motion … There's nothing to work with him on his release," Baldinger said. "He’s got a natural release.”
“The ball comes out with straight Tabasco … the ball is straight Tabasco guys. Get ready for it, it’s coming in hot! You better get used to (these passes). Get on the jugs machine and raise the speed because that’s how he throws the ball.”
"Straight Tabasco" is the perfect way to describe a fastball from Lance, as 49ers' receivers can certainly attest to.
Hot sauce isn't for everyone, but if you're a receiver on the 49ers, it's going to have to be an acquired taste.