San Francisco 49ers News: One Win Away From Postseason, Garoppolo Injury Update, More
Trey Lance’s First NFL Win Pushes 49ers Closer To Playoff Berth
Rookie quarterback Trey Lance and the San Francisco 49ers overcame a sloppy first half of football and routed the Houston Texans 23-7 on Sunday afternoon. It caused great joy and euphoria among all the fans who watched this match and gave them hope that these progressive results will continue in the matches that will follow. There was no end to the happiness of the fans, as evidenced by the large number of happy posts on social networks that were visible.
Filling in for injured starter Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s dealing with a thumb injury, Lance performed admirably in what was essentially a must-win for the 49ers. The No. 3 overall selection of the 2023 draft completed 16 of 23 pass attempts for 249 yards and a touchdown.
“I think he did some real good things,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said about Lance after the game, per the team’s official website. He seemed really surprised by the performance that the player had during the match, which is of great importance for every coach and coach who manages a team. His expression on his face shows hope that these successful results will continue. “Besides the bad interception, I thought he protected the ball real well. That was a big thing going into this game and he did a good job on all those except for one play.” – he said after the great match that took place in recent days.
“I think he was very efficient just looking at his numbers and things like that. That big play at the end was huge and for the most part he made some pretty good decisions throwing the ball.”
Lance did more than enough to pick up his first career victory as a starter, and it came at the most opportune time. It is a great success for one player, but also a great joy for the whole team as well as for all the followers of this sport and for all the fans of the team and its game. It’s widely expected that the 49ers will trade or release Garoppolo in the offseason and move forward with Lance as the starter in 2023.
Fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell had another excellent outing with 119 rushing yards on 21 carries. Sophomore wideout Brandon Aiyuk led the team with 94 receiving yards on just four receptions.
With the victory, the 49ers moved to 9-7 with one game to go. With a victory over the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday (4:24 p.m. EST), the 49ers will clinch one of the NFC’s three wild card spots.
San Francisco controls their own destiny, but a loss to the Rams wouldn’t necessarily spell the end of their season. They will also clinch if the New Orleans Saints lose or garner a tie against the Atlanta Falcons (4:25 p.m. EST).
Entering Week 18, 11 teams have higher Super Bowl odds than the 49ers like shown in Bookies.com. But considering that San Francisco is just two years removed from a trip to the big dance, they’re unquestionably capable of going on a deep run even in a loaded NFC playoff field.
Jimmy Garoppolo Injury Update
The status of Garoppolo will be a hot topic leading up to Sunday.
The 30-year-old suffered a thumb injury on his right throwing hand in the 49ers’ Week 16 road loss to the Tennessee Titans.
On Sunday, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Garoppolo’s injury prevents him from being able to grip the football accordingly. In every such moment there must be a certain hope, and in this case there is hope. However, La Canfora reported “there is some hope that the team’s athletic staff could come up with a specific method of taping up his thumb” which would help the veteran quarterback “to harness the ball sufficiently”. At this moment, this may be the only way to ensure progress in the matches, and thus to ensure the position of the team, but also of the player in general in the fight against opponents.
Garoppolo didn’t play in Week 17, but there’s a chance he’ll be able to return to the field for Sunday against the Rams.
Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN, Shanahan will “definitely” start against the Rams if he’s fully recovered.
Needless to say, this is something to follow closely as the 49ers try to clinch a playoff spot while spoiling the Rams’ chances of securing their first NFC West division title in three years.
Deebo Samuel Chasing Jerry Rice’s Single-Season Record
Samuel is enjoying a breakout year for the 49ers, and he has an outside shot of shattering a franchise record held by legend Jerry Rice.
As noted by NFL Research, Samuel sits at 1,630 scrimmage yards, the third highest total in franchise history. Rice holds the 49ers’ single-season record with 1,884 yards from scrimmage (1995), and the second highest total at 1,642 (1986).
With the extended 17-game regular season schedule, Samuel has a slim chance at breaking Rice’s record. He would require 255 yards to break the record, though that’s obviously a tall task against a stingy Los Angeles Rams defense. If this record is broken (which we all hope for) it would be a great event that will inspire great excitement and great admiration for all, for sure.
Samuel has 1,310 receiving yards and 320 rushing yards, a tremendous amount for a wide receiver. He has surpassed 150 receiving yards in four games this season. On top of that, Samuel has rushed for over 30 yards in five games.
Easier said than done, of course. But never say never. Never say never because everything one thinks can not happen, yet there is hope that it will happen if it is strongly believed. After all, a red-hot Kansas City Chiefs team gave up 266 receiving yards to Cincinnati Bengals rookie Ja’Marr Chase on Sunday.
Of course, bigger things are at stake for the 49ers here. Having Samuel break Rice’s 26-year-old record would be nice, but a win over the Rams matters more than anything. The success of the game also brings excitement, and the excitement makes each game more interesting and fun to watch. We will see how events unfold, and what we see is that surprises happen and that we should always expect them because sport is like that and when we least expect it we will be surprised.