San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) throws against the Green Bay Packers defense in the first pre season game at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara on Fri Aug 12, 2022 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It was the first installment of the Tre Lance show in Santa Clara.
Lance played well in two offensive series throwing for one touchdown as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 28-21 in the first preseason game of 2022 on Friday evening at Levi’s Stadium.
The enthusiasm for Lance was expected from the 49ers faithful during the team’s first drive with Lance under center. The opening drive went nine plays, 27 yards that resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. Lance was 2/3 for 11 yards as well as a seven yard scramble on the drive’s opening play.
“Solid,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Lance’s play. “On the first play he made a good scramble. It was nice to come down on that third down play to Danny (Grey). So he did some good things, a good first game. Wished we could’ve kept him out there a little more, but (you) gotta get him out.”
Despite Jimmy Garoppolo still being on the roster, Shanahan has give the keys to Lance to lead his offense in 2022. Lance finished the game 4/5 for 92 yards and one touchdown.
“Trying to get bet better,” said Lance when asked what his goal was for the game. “Having the training camp mind set. Be efficient, take care of the ball and give those guys a chance. The offensive line played well. The young guys did a great job. It’s a lot more fun to win.”
On the flip side, the NFL’s reigning MVP, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not play in the team’s first preseason game. Instead backup quarterback Jordan Love started and played all of the first half.
Love connected with wide receiver Romeo Doubs on a 33-yard touchdown reception down the right sideline to give the Packers 7-3 lead. The drive went eight plays, 80 yards in just 3:23.
Green Bay’s lead didn’t last long. On the first play of the second drive. Lance showed off his canon of an arm when he found Danny Grey wide open down the left sideline and Grey raced in for a 76-yard touchdown to put the Niners back on top 10-7.
Marcelino McCrary intercepted Love at the four-yard line and returned it 57 yards to the Packers 39-yard line. On the ensuing drive, backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld only needed one play to find Ray Ray McCloud on post route for a 39-yard touchdown. Sudfeld finished 8/11 for 103 yards and one touchdown as he vies for the backup QB job.
Love threw his second touchdown pass late in the second quarter with a 33-yard pass to Danny Davis to close out the first half at 20-14. It wasn’t a great overall game for Love as he finished 13/24 for 176 yards with two touchdowns and two badly thrown interceptions.
“It could’ve been a better night for everybody,” said Love. “The ball bounced a weird way. The 49ers capitalized on those plays. Obviously, no one wants that to happen and it sucks when it does.”
Sam Womack III had two interceptions to led the relentless 49ers secondary that has gone from the defense’s Achilles heal a season ago to one of its strengths.
“I think the defense as a whole works really well together,” said linebacker Fred Warner. “When the D-line is disrupting, sticking in the back end, that’s when you’re going to create big plays. We have really good players right now and we’re continuing to get better everyday.”
Each team traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Danny Etling, who replaced Love in the second half, threw a 22-yard touchdown to Amari Rodgers. Brock Purdy, who replaced Sudfeld in the fourth quarter, found Tanner Hudson from five yards out with 7:58 remaining.
Tyrion Davis-Price, a third round draft selection this year, led the 49ers in rushing with 10 rushes for 36 yards. Tyler Goodson led the Packers with 12 rushes for 37 yards. Purdy was 3/6 for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Grey led San Francisco in receiving with two catches for 99 yards. BJ Baylor had two catches for 75 yards to pace Green Bay.
UP NEXT: San Francisco takes on the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday 8/20 at 4:00pm at U.S. Bank Stadium.