Kyle Shanahan has a conundrum.
The way I see it, he probably wants to play Trey Lance Sunday night against the Packers, probably has wanted to play him all season. That's why Shanahan gave him two snaps on the opening drive of Week 1, plus the first touchdown throw.
But it seems Shanahan is struggling to sell the need to play Lance to his team -- that's probably why Lance didn't play against the Eagles. The 49ers are a veteran team that went to the Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo when Lance was a 19-year old at North Dakota State. Garoppolo still is overwhelmingly popular in the locker room. And now they're 2-0 with him as the starter.
But they've been doing the bare minimum on offense. They're not getting George Kittle the ball down the field, nor are they getting Brandon Aiyuk the ball hardly at all. He has one catch in two games. And they're keeping their most dangerous weapon -- Lance -- on the bench.
If the 49ers don't use all of their offensive weapons against the Packers this Sunday, the 49ers could lose a home game they should win, because the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and the Lions and Eagles don't. Fortunately for Shanahan, he has the perfect opportunity to sell the Lance Package to his team this week.
All the 49ers top-five running backs currently are injured. Their starter Sunday night most likely will be rookie Trey Sermon, who has one career carry and left last week's game with a concussion. The rest of the active running backs will be practice squad players.
If the 49ers can't run the ball well and there's no threat of play action, they will lose. They have to run the ball to beat Rodgers.
And Lance is the 49ers' best healthy ball carrier. Shanahan can put him in the game to boost the run game if it's struggling.
And the Packers won't be able to stop Lance from running. They have a terrible defense. It will look like Colin Kaepernick running circles around them all over again.
And to keep the Packers defense honest, Shanahan will call a couple play-action deep passes for Lance. And if he hits them, his teammates will see how much more dangerous the offense can be with him as opposed to Garoppolo.
And the 49ers will win 27-21.
And the transition from Garoppolo to Lance will begin.