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Trey Lance scrambles with the ball
Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers prepares to pass against the Houston Texans | Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

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At this point, the San Francisco 49ers can be reasonably sure they have one of the league’s upper-tier defenses. But with so much uncertainty at quarterback and Deebo Samuel’s long-term status with the organization unknown, their offense may not be reliable enough to look at their 2022 NFL schedule with too much overall confidence.

Is Jimmy Garoppolo still going to get time under center? The 30-year-old started 15 games with mixed results, serving more as a game-manager than a high-upside option until his 2021 season, rather fittingly, ended with an ugly interception in the conference championship loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Niners scored nary a passing touchdown in their two playoff wins.

But are they ready to hand the reins to Trey Lance as he heads into his second NFL season? We might not know until the 2022 calendar begins since all signals have pointed toward uncertainty concerning his immediate readiness to shoulder that level of increased responsibility.

Good as Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Dee Ford, Javon Kinlaw, and the other key defensive pieces may be, it’s hard to view the 49ers as a legitimate title contender with an unsettled situation at the most important position on the field.

2022 San Francisco 49ers Schedule

1@ Chicago BearsSunday, Sept. 111:00 p.m. ETFOX
2vs. Seattle SeahawksSunday, Sept. 184:05 p.m. ETFOX
3@ Denver BroncosSunday, Sept. 258:20 p.m. ETNBC
4vs. Los Angeles RamsMonday, Oct. 38:15 p.m. ETESPN
5@ Carolina PanthersSunday, Oct. 94:05 p.m. ETCBS
6@ Atlanta FalconsSunday, Oct. 161:00 p.m. ETFOX
7vs. Kansas City ChiefsSunday, Oct. 234:25 p.m. ETFOX
8@ Los Angeles RamsSunday, Oct. 304:25 p.m. ETFOX
9Bye WeekN/AN/AN/A
10vs. Los Angeles ChargersSunday, Nov. 138:20 p.m. ETNBC
11@ Arizona Cardinals (Mexico City)Monday, Nov. 218:15 p.m. ETESPN
12vs. New Orleans SaintsSunday, Nov. 274:25 p.m. ETFOX
13vs. Miami DolphinsSunday, Dec. 44:05 p.m. ETFOX
14vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, Dec. 114:25 p.m. ETFOX
15@ Seattle SeahawksThursday, Dec. 158:15 p.m. ETPrime Video
16vs. Washington CommandersSaturday, Dec. 244:05 p.m. ETCBS
17@ Las Vegas RaidersSunday, Jan. 14:05 p.m. ETFOX
18vs. Arizona CardinalsTBDTBDTBD

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