The Chicago Bears can pile the pressure on Trey Lance in Week 1Ryan Heckmanon September 7, 2022 at 11:00 am

Sunday, the Chicago Bears kick off their season in a much-anticipated matchup between two first-round quarterbacks from a year ago.

Of course, Justin Fields enters his second season with Chicago and, by many accounts, has all odds against him. The lack of weapons and protection added this offseason by Ryan Poles is one of the main reasons he’s already being counted out in 2022.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers have officially ushered in the Trey Lance era. But, are the 49ers 100 percent sold on their young quarterback’s immediate future?

Don’t hold your breath.

The Chicago Bears defense could start the process of a quarterback conundrum in San Francisco.

After the 49ers decided to keep Jimmy Garoppolo around on a rich deal for an NFL backup, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed stated that this has more to do with a “cautious optimism” surrounding Lance, more than anything else.

In fact, Kyed had this to say about the situation:

“One AFC scout isn’t buying the 49ers’ trust in Lance and believed San Francisco’s decision to retain Garoppolo rather than outright releasing him was a ‘bad sign’ for the North Dakota State product.”

Sure, the market wasn’t reportedly what the 49ers would have hoped for when attempting to trade Garoppolo. But, keeping him around rather than releasing him and “doing good” by Garoppolo does seem to be more of an indictment on Lance, the more you think about it.

If the 49ers were really that confident in Lance, and wanted to do what was best for Garoppolo as well, then they would have released the veteran. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have stated that this “is Trey’s time” now, but just how cemented is that notion when you have a 30-year-old backup on the roster that’s led his team to a Super Bowl recently?

Not to mention, Garoppolo is good enough to start elsewhere in this league.

With that said, the Bears are a team that’s already been counted out of this coming season. Nobody is giving them a shot to be competitive, nor to beat the 49ers on Sunday — outside of maybe just a handful of guys, namely NFL Network’s Adam Rank, whom Bears fans can always count on.

But, the point is, Chicago isn’t supposed to win this game. This is supposed to be an upper echelon type of team in San Francisco. However, if this defense is truly bought into what Matt Eberflus has preached, then times might get tough on Lance this coming Sunday.

And, if the Bears beat him up a little bit, then the whispers for Garoppolo will have already started on the outside. Surely, on the inside, they want it to be Lance. But, Chicago Bears fans know how the quarterback conundrums go, if any fans do.

The Bears were one of the top teams in all of football in terms of sacks last season, and return the man who set the franchise record in Robert Quinn. Their defensive line is full of guys who are more equipped to rush the passer than even last year’s line was, and starting the season at home could give them a little extra juice.

Look, Lance isn’t going to lose his job in one week. However, the Bears have a huge opportunity to pile on the pressure for what could be a big-time quarterback decision looming later on this season for Kyle Shanahan. Here’s to hoping this Bears defense can wreak a little havoc in Week 1.

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