Retired NFL QB Advocates for ‘Less Risky’ 49ers QB Strategy

Trey Lance Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before a 49ers preseason game on August 29.

One former NFL quarterback turned analyst has made it clear that the San Francisco 49ers do this moving forward behind center: Roll with Trey Lance and his passing style over Jimmy Garoppolo and the veteran’s arm.

Chris Simms, who played five seasons in the league and is now part of the NBC Sunday Night Football crew, took to both Twitter and his podcast “Chris Simms Unbuttoned” on Monday, January 3 to let it be known that he prefers the rookie over the veteran.

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In his first career NFL victory, Lance finished with 16-of-23 passing for 249 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and delivered a passer rating of 116 in the 23-7 win over the Houston Texans.

Simms, now known for his blunt opinions on both the SNF pregame show and his podcast, let it be known that a change behind center makes the 49ers more dangerous to defend.

Lance is ‘Less Risky’ Compared to Garoppolo

During his podcast recording on Monday, Simms identified how Lance’s effect on the offense made the 49ers looked more unstoppable.

“The way Trey Lance played yesterday and all that, they’re almost more dangerous to defend when they have him at quarterback,” Simms said.

Simms included a tweet that put two graphics together on the aerial comparison between the two 49ers signal-callers. One area the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Denver Bronco and Tennessee Titan quarterback spotted: Where Lance focuses on his throws.

“Might sound counterintuitive, but Trey Lance’s passing style is less risky than Jimmy Garoppolo’s. Throws outside the numbers/downfield where are there are fewer defenders. While Jimmy G throws it over the middle where there is tons of traffic with small margin for error,” Simms tweeted.

The above graphics via Next Gen Stats show just that: Lance took more shots beyond 10 yards down the field than Garoppolo. And, as noted in this Heavy on 49ers article, Lance earned 205 of his 249 yards on plays that went 10+ yards and hit eight completions that ate between 10 to 45 yards.

On Simms’ discovery of how Lance “throws outside the numbers” and attacks downfield “when there are fewer defenders,” here’s one example: The 45-yard bomb he threw to Deebo Samuel, who draws solo coverage and takes advantage.

Simms additionally became a fan of Lance’s poise, especially after throwing the early interception against the Texans.

“Even after the interception, I never felt like the game was too big for him. He never looked like he was panicked or flustered,” Simms said below. “The biggest thing: He controlled the football for the most part of the day.”

Simms Blasts Garoppolo’s Play

The 41-year-old then said the biggest difference between Lance and Jimmy G is that one “lives more dangerously” on the football field. And it’s not the first-year 49er.

“Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have the arm that Trey Lance has,” Simms said, who later let it be known that Garoppolo’s lack of arm strength becomes a danger for the 49ers, adding “I look at that and go ‘Holy s***,’ every time you’re throwing the ball you’re like (gasps) ‘I hope he gets through there’ or (gasps again) ‘I hope he doesn’t get hit and the ball pops in the air and it gets an interception.’ Man that’s living dangerously. And that’s my issue with the 49ers.”

Simms does believe Garoppolo will return soon for the 49ers before their crucial Sunday, January 9 road contest against the Los Angeles Rams, where a ‘Niners victory clinches a playoff berth.

But, Simms referred to Garoppolo as “the most untrustworthy quarterback playing football.”

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