What Lance showed in 49ers' preseason opener, including long TD pass originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA -- Just as he did during the preseason opener of his rookie year, 49ers quarterback Trey Lance wasted little time in giving a glimpse of what drew the organization to him as the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lance capped his second and final series of the exhibition opener on Friday night against the Green Bay Packers with a flourish.
He delivered a perfectly thrown deep ball down the left sideline to speedy rookie wide receiver Danny Gray, who beat Green Bay Packers safety Dallin Leavitt, for a 76-yard touchdown.
Gray finished off his sprint to the end zone, and Lance was not far behind to pick up the football and give it back to Gray as a souvenir. The play gave the 49ers a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.
Lance played 11 snaps in the preseason opener. He completed four of five pass attempts for 92 yards, a touchdown, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
The game served as the soft opening for Lance's first preseason game in his first season as the 49ers' unopposed starting quarterback. A year ago, Lance threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield in his preseason debut.
Lance was clearly in the lead role from the beginning, as he spoke briefly to his gathered teammates on the field before game and, later, led the team out of the tunnel.
After the defense stopped the Green Bay Packers on a three-and-out to open the game, Lance and the 49ers' offense took over at their own 41-yard line.
Lance's first series consisted of eight offensive players, which featured five running plays. Lance took off running on his first drop-back after failing to find anyone open. He scrambled for a 7-yard gain.
Lance completed an 8-yard pass to slot receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, then threw high to tight end Ross Dwelley on a 3-yard gain to the left side.
On a third-and-9 play from the Green Bay 32, Lance led speedy rookie receiver Danny Gray too much at the right sideline. Gray made the catch but could not get either foot inbounds.
The failed third-down conversion set up kicker Robbie Gould for a 50-yard field goal.
Lance made up for his off-the-mark attempt to Gray on the next series -- a deep pass that also took place on a third-and-9 play.
The 49ers did not play many of their front-line starters, including wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and tight end George Kittle. Left tackle Trent Williams was also held out.
Running backs Elijah Mitchell (hamstring) and Jeff Wilson Jr. did not suit up, either.
Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld took over for Lance at the beginning of the second quarter and threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Ray-Ray McCloud on his first snap, giving the 49ers a 17-7 lead.
Lance is scheduled to get plenty of work on Wednesday and Thursday in joint practices against the Minnesota Vikings. The teams will have two practice sessions before lining up in a preseason game next Saturday night.
Coach Kyle Shanahan considers those head-to-head practices as much better preparation than the preseason games. The 49ers do not plan for Lance to see any playing time in next week's exhibition game against the Vikings.