How King believes 49ers should take pressure off Lance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers enter the 2022 NFL season with high expectations.
They also enter with a first-year starting quarterback, Trey Lance, who enters his second NFL season with a total of just 19 starts since his final season of high school.
Peter King of NBC Sports believes the 49ers have the talent to win a lot of games. But he also believes they should not put too much on the plate of Lance.
"The running game is going to be really, really important because if you rely on a guy to win games and score into the high-20s and 30s consistently, a guy who's had one year of starting quarterback experience at the (FCS) level since he got out of high school, I think you're a fool," King said on 49ers Talk.
One of the 49ers' strengths appears to be on defense. The front seven appears dominant with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead leading a deep defensive line rotation, and a strong corps of linebackers with Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair. The 49ers' defensive backfield should be much improved with the addition of cornerback Charvarius Ward.
On offense, King expects coach Kyle Shanahan to feature the Elijah Mitchell-led running game. Lance also has running ability that the 49ers can use to keep defenses honest.
"If I were the 49ers, I would be trying run it, trying to eat the clock," King said. "I would not take Trey Lance on my fantasy team. I don't think he's going to be inordinately productive in terms of top-10 in yards or anything like that.
"But I think the Niners are going to be a very good running team, and they are going to try very hard to be a good running team."
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King said he believes Lance will flash the promise that led the 49ers to select him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But he can almost guarantee the young quarterback will experience some difficulties, too.
"My gut feeling is he'll play a little better than average," King said. "But I think he's going to have some bad days because (so has) every quarterback who's ever played."