Let’s go back into the San Francisco 49ers history books: Who remembers the events of November 11, 2012 at Candlestick Park?
Now for a follow-up question, why does that date tie into Sunday’s crucial NFC West showdown with the Los Angeles Rams on January 9?
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Well to answer the first question — that November date saw a change behind center with Alex Smith leaving with an injury and Colin Kaepernick taking the reins against the Rams. That game ended as a tie, but ultimately Kaepernick guided the 49ers into the Super Bowl.
Fast forward nine years and nearly two months later and guess what, the 49ers are experiencing a deja vu moment with Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance that one analyst described.
Analyst Reveals Best QB Option for Sunday
In the Monday, January 4 edition of Heavy’s I’m Just Saying, Paul “Boy Green” Esden from Heavy on Jets and The Score 1260 AM in Syracuse, New York gave the show a history lesson involving the 49ers and how it intertwines with the current quarterback situation the ‘Niners are in.
“I remember the 49ers had a little injury at quarterback. They switched over from Alex Smith to some guy named Colin Kaepernick and oh yeah…they went to the Super Bowl,” Esden said.
That’s when Esden gave this bold prediction if the 49ers roll with Garoppolo.
“With Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers are a one-and-done team in the playoffs,” Esden said.
However, with the rookie Lance: “The ceiling is Super Bowl. That’s what this guy does. The ceiling rises. His ability to run the football, throw the football, he’s a dynamic player. Jimmy Garoppolo is not dynamic. He’s basic. Maybe he’ll win some modeling contest, good for you man, but I’m talking about delivering on the football field. Lance is this dynamic player and he’s the guy I’m plugging in, injury or not.”
Esden also contradicted those who don’t believe the 49ers have Super Bowl talent.
“All these people saying ‘The 49ers may not be Super Bowl contenders.’ You look at that defense, you look at some guy named Deebo Samuel, but look at the pieces on this defense. I’m telling you…with Trey Lance, ride the train.”
More can be watched below.
Who the Other Heavy Writers Feel Should Guide the ’49ers
Let’s just say, this topic was a sweep among the rest of the Heavy panelists of Brian Mazique, Ryan Sanudo and yours truly. Here’s what each one said.
Mazique (Heavy on Patriots and Bulls): “For me, honestly, here’s the reason why I’m going with Trey Lance: Jimmy Garoppolo is still not 100 percent. And even if we was 100%, where they are right now at the very end of the season, even if they beat the Rams, they’re still not Super Bowl contenders. My thought process is, the future begins right now. Trey Lance won in Week 17, now if you’re the 49ers, we put him on the biggest stage possible: A Week 18 must-win game against the division leading Los Angeles Rams. Either way, if he gets us (the 49ers) this victory, we go into next season with insane momentum.”
Sanudo (Heavy on Cardinals): “You’re out of your mind if you’re still on the Jimmy Garoppolo train. Kyle Shanahan completely changes his playbook when it comes to Trey Lance. He wants to go downfield with Lance, you see the explosiveness with Deebo and George Kittle. All you see with Garoppolo are throws over the middle of the field where there’s tons of traffic — and that leads to turnovers and you saw that against the Titans.”
As for me, I used my E-40 voice to help describe who the 49ers should go with, but also explained how a run-heavy offense like the 49ers now has a deep, play-action element with Lance behind center.
But Will Lance Play?
As of Friday, January 7, it’s still not determined if it’ll be Jimmy G or the North Dakota State standout.
However, the 49ers have operated with not one, but two quarterbacks with the first stringers during the week of practice, per David Lombardi:
But on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, signs are pointing to Garoppolo taking the full duties.