Everyone in San Francisco is talking about Trey Lance this week, and they all pretty much have good things to say. That’s to be expected, considering he’s the 49ers’ prized draft pick at the most important position in sports. I always like to look at what the opponent is saying about a particular player. Texans Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith says they have a pretty good handle on what to expect this week.
“I think he started earlier and he played a half of an earlier game, so we have some video of him. We kind of know exactly what type of player we’ll be playing. There is a difference between he and Jimmy, but we like to think our defense is flexible enough. You get in a game and kind of see what an offense is doing and if you need to make adjustments you kind of do it from there. He has a different skill set. He’s more of an athletic quarterback, strong arm. We’re playing a lot of those high draft picks that have great futures ahead of them, we just hope it doesn't really start this week.”
That part at the end got me wondering how Houston has fared against rookie quarterbacks this season. So far in 2021, the Texans have faced Trevor Lawrence twice, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones. In those four games, they’ve held quarterbacks to a 60% completion rate, allowed five total touchdowns, and caught five interceptions.
Lovie usually favors a cover-2 scheme, but he’s also been in the NFL long enough to know how to confuse a rookie quarterback - particularly one starting his second career game. Regardless of what the statistics or analytics say, Lance is still a 21-year-old kid who is going to need all the help he can get from Kyle Shanahan in this game.
Be sure to listen to the rest of today’s 49ers in Five to hear George Kittle’s assessment of Trey Lance, as well as everything else you need to know about the team in around five minutes.