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49ers in Five: The gauntlet coming for Trey Lance and company

Everything you need to know in about five minutes

The official schedule for 2022 is here and the 49ers made out pretty well. Staying in the Pacific time zone for all but one game after Week 6 is definitely nice, and closing the year at home is always an advantage in a battle for a playoff spot. There is one stretch, however, that is going to show us the mettle of this year’s team, and it’s right in the middle of the season.

There’s almost always a murderer’s row on any schedule, and the for San Francisco it starts in Week 7 against the Chiefs, continues the week after against the Super Bowl Champion Rams, and concludes after the bye against the Chargers in Week 10.

Let’s start with the game against Kansas City. Some idiot will call it the Super Bowl LIV Revenge Game, as if winning a regular season contest three years later somehow makes up for blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. I digress. The good news here is that Kansas City will be finishing a tough stretch of games that includes the division-rival Raiders and the Bills in back-to-back contests. Their tank could be in need of a refill by the time they come to Levi’s. That’s another bonus, by the way. This game is going to be hard enough for Trey Lance to win, and luckily he won’t have to contend with the incredibly loud Arrowhead crowd.

Week 8 is technically a road game, but we all know that the Faithful are going to take over SoFi Stadium yet again. Even with a friendly crowd, however, this one won’t be easy. LA will have already faced Trey Lance once at this point in the season, and they’re going to have extra time to prepare for him after coming off a bye in Week 7. These two teams will probably be battling for the division title, and both know how important these two games will be for seeding later in the year. This is going to be a battle.

After a bye in Week 9 to heal up, the Niners head home to play host to one of the most psychically talented quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert and the Chargers on Sunday Night Football. Oh yeah, and there’s also that whole Bosa vs. Bosa thing that’s going to mentioned about 50,000 times. Between Herbert’s incredible arm and Brandon Staley’s incredibly aggressive style of play, the 49ers are going to have to keep their foot on the gas all night long if they’re going to keep up.

So far in his career Trey Lance hasn’t seemed overwhelmed by the moment very much. In this stretch of games, however, he is going to face off against three of the best quarterbacks in the entire league. Will Lance put extra pressure on himself to try and win a shootout? Will Kyle Shanahan let his young quarterback sling it around the yard if those other QBs put up some early points? How the team handles this particular three-game stretch could tell us a lot about how the rest of the season is going to turn out.