Trey Lance's first career start didn't exactly get off to the best beginning.
Making his first career start in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance and the 49ers got the ball first against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and coach Kyle Shanahan threw the rookie quarterback right into the fire. Lance took the first three snaps out of shotgun, collecting back-to-back first downs on the first two plays with a 14-yard scramble and 16-yard completion.
But on the fourth play of the opening drive, Lance made his first big rookie mistake. Operating under center, Lance dropped back in play-action and locked on to receiver Travis Benjamin, only to overthrow him and have Cardinals safety Budda Baker step in for the easy interception. Lance also had a wide-open running lane at his disposal, which he elected not to use.
The Cardinals then proceeded to put together an eight-play, 66-yard touchdown drive, taking a 7-0 lead on James Conner's 1-yard touchdown run.
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Thus is life with a rookie quarterback. Growing pains are to be expected. But Lance should only improve with experience.