2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Wk1 Game Analysis: Chiefs 19, 49ers 16 (Subscriber Extra Notes)
Ross Jacobs, newfound 49ers fan and team expert, has already published his scouting report on this game. I watched the game as well, to scout Trey Lance mostly, and I’m ready to add my two cents on a couple items I saw…
-- So, Trey Lance (5-14 for 128 yards, 1 TD/0 INT)…it’s funny…it’s hard to determine the truth here. You can see what you wanna see in this debut.
The pro-Lance mob and the fawning-over-every-rookie-QB media are all settled on the issues – they saw his 80-yard TD pass, and that’s good enough for them. The media is predictable here -- they saw Daniel Jones’s big stat NFL debut and declared him a winner as a rookie in his first start and were (and are still) dazzled by Tua winning his debut rookie game and still think he’s a future great. I say all that to establish the obvious fact that their initial impressions on anything having to do with QB prospects are worthless.
I saw two contrasting scouting things at work with Lance, and it’s the reason why I’ve been hesitant to endorse…and still am to a degree.
1) He has better tools than anyone in this draft class at QB. That debate is over. He’s the best combination of arm and thickness and feet in the draft. Better than Trevor Lawrence by a mile. Better than my choice for top QB grade from this class – Zach Wilson. Lance has all the tools that make you drool with the ‘possibilities’.
But what is not discussed about that big TD pass is – Lance did a play action fake bootleg and went to his left while the entire defense went right with the fake. When Lance rolled out, off the fake, he was standing alone without a pass rush within 5 yards of him. He was able to set his feet, identify the right guy, and then he flung it on the money.
Rarely do you get that kind of time to run that play, but good on Lance that he found his receiver and planted on the guy in-stride. But it was not a normal NFL play.
2) After Lance threw the long TD pass, everything started winding down into concerns. Pro-Lance people already made up their minds after the 80-yard TD, so the next 10+ throws didn’t matter to them.
On those next 10+ throws, the good was Lance showing a legit NFL arm on the sideline outs.
The bad was – when Lance had to throw over the middle and read/see, it was shades of Central Arkansas 2020 all over again – throwing right into receivers clearly covered/double covered. Lance should’ve had two picks in this game.
You can walk away saying he showed the arm and had the big play, and that’s a fine start for a rookie. And you’re not wrong.
You could also walk away saying he should’ve had two picks; he threw badly into coverage that he should’ve seen multiple times. He took on several sacks for a guy with mobility…4 sacks in a half a play are worrisome on his presence/understanding the pocket yet. And you’re not wrong to say it.
I walk away thinking, overall – there are signs Lance might be the best QB in this class, for sure. There are also the troubling signs of issues I saw in college…and you have to have a religious faith he’ll magically ‘work out of it’. They’ve said Jameis Winston just needs to clean up those turnovers for five+ years now. Some things aren’t fixable…they just ‘are’. I truly don’t know what it will be with Lance. They were fixable with Josh Allen.
You can’t be blamed for joining the pro-Lance cult. Nor should you be burned at the stake for sitting on the sidelines still to see more action (especially to wanna watch him with the 1st-team offense and facing a 1st-team schemed defense). I could see, in the NFL regular season, defenses guarding the outside sideline passes, and making Lance try to throw to the middle and expose him…or Lance could grow out of that quickly and just start torching everybody.
The upside is real.
The case is not settled, for me, yet.
Jimmy G. is starting Week 1…which feels like a free Venti White Mocha for RC from young Master Jedi Ross Jacobs…
-- I was all excited about Byron Pringle (2-10-1/2) after this game…because Mecole Hardman sucks and there is no one else after Tyreek, in my mind. Well, I have to dial that back a bit…rewatching, I realized DeMarcus Robinson started for all the series with the 1st-team guys…then when the 2nd-team entered, Pringle came in and did some nice work.
I might like Pringle, but Reid likes Hardman-Robinson.
When Hardman falls, Pringle may rise…but not Week 1 most likely.
-- Hey, you might know I love Jordan Matthews (1-16-0/2), right? And you know he’s a tight end now, right? Well, he looked really good in his routes and his one catch and run. A solid WR, but a unique weapon TE. There’s a chance he makes this team and fills that Jordan Reed role from 2020…as a 30% snap count receiving weapon TE.
-- Here’s the thing about Trey Sermon (9-26-0, 2-14-0/2)…
He looked fine enough…bully up the middle runner, but they rotated him with Wayne Gallman (6-21-0, 1-4-0/1) in-and-out and repeat…and when they did, you had a hard time knowing the difference. Even the hometown announcers messed it up 2-3x in-game on who was who. Sermon is not looking ‘special’ yet.
Sermon is fine, but let’s not commission any busts for Canton yet. It’s possible the 49ers dump Raheem Mostert and run with Sermon-Gallman with Elijah Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty in the hole. Not saying they will, but that day may come before Week 1…or after Weeks 2-3-4-5 or so.