Since Kyle Shanahan took over as head coach, much has changed, and this game will likely look different than when they last visited Pittsburgh.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are always contenders for a playoff spot, and this year has given them plenty of reasons for optimism. Brock Purdy and Kenny Pickett possess exceptional talent, the question will be are they talented enough to lead these respective teams to a Super Bowl?
This matchup should serve as an invaluable test for both of these experienced coaches to kick-off their seasons and assess where they stand moving forward.
Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle remain key offensive pieces for San Francisco. All four players enter the season healthy; these veterans have more proven themselves than many of Pittsburgh's weapons.
Brock Purdy still needs to prove himself as the future QB, but with Kyle Shanahan providing him with such impressive weapons, we believe Purdy will make an impression this season. Defensively, the 49ers are always one of the premier teams in the league, although Nick Bosa may or may not play week one due to injuries. Either way, their defense was first in DVOA rankings last season, so we are confident they'll rise up to meet whatever challenge comes their way without Bosa.
The Niners offensive line will be the position to watch as they lost some key pieces last season.
Pittsburgh boasts some impressive offensive weapons of its own. Najee Harris finished last season strong after an inauspicious start, altering his running style slightly and becoming one of the league's premier running backs. George Pickens has quickly established himself as their WR1, while Diontae Johnson provided excellent support, even though he failed to reach any end zones last season.
Now when it comes to defense, this Steelers team needs T.J. Watt. His presence has an enormous impact, and many consider him the premier defensive player in football.
The Steelers have the players on defense to slow down the 49ers attack.
The 49ers are the more complete team, but this is week one and the Steelers are at home getting +2.5 points. Upsets are the rule in week one a lot of times and I think that will be the case in this game. Take the Steelers +2.5 in week 1 of the NFL betting season.
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