49ers Embarrassing Loss to Depleted Cardinals Spells Trouble for Kyle Shanahan But Could Be a Welcome Sign For Trey Lance

Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers have been a mixed bag amid an already confusing NFL campaign. But, Sunday’s loss to a heavily-depleted Arizona Cardinals team shines the light under the process in the Bay Area.

Kyler Murray, AJ Green, and DeAndre Hopkins missed the game for Arizona while Chase Edmonds left early with an injury. None of that mattered.

The 49ers fell flat on their faces and dropped a game they should have won, especially since the Cardinals were without their key players and had to trot out Colt McCoy at the quarterback position. Now, Shanahan’s seat might be burning hot in the cold, gloomy streets of San Francisco, and Trey Lance time might be coming sooner than he had hoped.

Kyle Shanahan’s shaky record spells bad news and could send the 49ers searching for another head coach

Yes, the 49ers made the Super Bowl a couple of seasons ago. However, that is long in the past. This team is somehow a shell of the team they were then, and it starts with Shanahan.

If you negate the 13-3 year, Shanahan’s tenure looks even worse. Even with the 13 victories, he sits below the .500 threshold and there are no excuses.

Nick Bosa leads the charge for the defense and the offensive weapons are plenty for Shanahan to work with. So, what exactly is going on?

Who knows, but John Lynch won’t sit around and kick the tires much longer on Shanahan, especially after drafting a rookie quarterback that has barely played this season. The 49ers head coach is taking the brunt of the blame — as he should (h/t Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports).

“I believe that we should be a better team than that record and I know that starts with me.”  

Kyle Shanahan on 49ers 3-5 start to the year

Three wins, five losses, and last place in the NFC West are not what anybody expected from this year’s 49ers’ team. Things look bleak in San Francisco, and Shanahan’s not doing himself any favors. After Robert Saleh left to take the New York Jets head coaching job, relieving Shanahan of his duties could send the 49ers searching to the outside for the next head coach if things don’t turn around quickly.

Where is Trey Lance?

The 49er rookie has struggled to see the field this season. Jimmy Garoppolo walked away with the starting job before getting hurt. After Garoppolo was healthy, he took over the job and has held it ever since.

Now, it isn’t that the incumbent has played poorly. In fact, Garoppolo has been serviceable — not spectacular, but good enough. However, Lance is just sitting on the bench, waiting and waiting for his opportunity to come.

With the 49ers season quickly dwindling, especially with the Los Angeles Rams and Cardinals far ahead, why not turn to Lance? After all, what is there to lose? Maybe Shanahan should listen to the advice of legend Jerry Rice. Also, it isn’t just Lance. Shanahan’s handling of the rookies has been shocking.

The North Dakota State product has just 25 completions on 48 attempts all year with three scores. On the ground, he has 27 carries for 133 yards and a score. Still, nobody can forget Lance’s performance against the Seattle Seahawks.

While Garoppolo isn’t the problem with San Francisco, the 49ers might as well see what they have in Lance, even more if they continue to lose games and hurt their playoff chances in the process.

Shanahan’s handling of the Garoppolo-Lance controversy has been questioned the entire time. At this rate playing Lance will at least build up confidence for the rookie and give the 49ers front office a first-hand look at their prized young quarterback and potential face of the franchise.

It is long overdue if we’re being honest. Just give Lance the keys already.

The 49ers schedule doesn’t bode well for any chance of sneaking into the playoff picture

49ers lost to the Cardinals and now Kyle Shanahan could be in major trouble.
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and QB Trey Lance | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Can the 49ers turn things around? Perhaps.

Over the remainder of the season, the 49ers face the Rams twice, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans. On top of that, they also face the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.

Sure, the NFC’s bottom tier is a mess right now with the Atlanta Falcons (another 49ers opponent) holding on to the last Wild Card spot with a 4-4 mark. Things are so clustered, but the bottom line is that the 49ers have not been playing good football in any way, shape, or form.

If things don’t change quickly, Shanahan’s run as 49ers head coach could be reaching its unfortunate end.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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