Trey Lance was once the guy everybody had their eyes on. Now he is no longer part of the picture as the San Francisco 49ers move forward.
An injury to the starting QB may be horrific news for some teams. But for the Niners, it may be good news for head coach Kyle Shanahan, in spite of himself.
Jimmy G (aka Jimmy Garoppolo) is back in the saddle, and he will lead the 49ers onto the field at Mile High against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos in the Sunday night game that is slated to begin at 8:20 PM ET on NBC. Keep in mind that BetAnySports patrons have a lot to take advantage of, including reduced juice, so you can go into the game with much better odds than usual.
Lance had to leave last Sunday's game against Seattle with a broken ankle (for which he has had surgery), and he has been ruled out for the season. He had experienced a rough season debut against Chicago in awful weather, as San Francisco suffered a defeat. Garoppolo had to step in and didn't blow anyone away with his numbers (13 of 21, 154 yards). But the Niners won it 27-7.
So why is Frisco in better shape now?
Because they have the better guy.
In the Sunday Night NFL odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the 49ers are slight favorites:
San Francisco 49ers -1.5
Denver Broncos +1.5
Over 44 Points -110
Under 44 Points -110
The problem with the quarterback situation for the Niners is that they handed the job over to an untested entity when there was already someone "proven" on hand. There's no other way to put it. And as a consequence, they were not giving themselves the best chance to win with Lance as the starter.
As a starter in the NFL, Garoppolo has a 33-14 record. Last season, he led the league in yards per completion (12.7). He has helped guide the 49ers into a Super Bowl and an NFC championship game. So yes, he was a better short-term solution than Lance.
And that does affect the way we look at this game.
You see, while the Niners are bringing someone back who knows his system and his teammates very well, the Broncos are still adjusting to have Wilson at the helm of its offense.
But they've produced numbers; in fact, they have gained more yards per drive than any other team in the NFL through the first two weeks. But that's not the whole story.
Keep in mind that neither of these teams has converted very well. Even though, in the drive stats, Denver has more yards than all other NFL teams, they are just 18th in the league in points per drive. The Broncos have had to gain 24.5 yards for every point they've scored, and that ranks them 29th in the NFL in that category. If you remember that season opener in Seattle, they made a few trips inside the ten-yard line without scoring.
The Niners are sixth in yards per drive and 19th in points per drive.
Maybe this means something for our total?
According to Pay Per Head Bookie insiders, maybe it does, but which way might be our question.
We prefer to look at it like this - the Niners might be a bit more comfortable here, plus they get All-Pro tight end George Kittle back from an injury. This defense has seen plenty of Wilson over the years, so no surprises on that end. And we're still not sure that Wilson and new head coach Nathaniel Hackett are on the same page yet. So we're going to side with San Francisco.
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