After a disappointing first-week loss to the Chicago Bears, the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
While it’s too early to call it a “must win” this season, the 49ers need to overcome their NFC West rivals by the end of Week 2, not only keeping their playoff expectations intact, but keeping all People calm down or outside noise.
Coach Kyle Shanahan insists the pressure from outside the building has not reached the inner sanctuary of the team’s headquarters, but there is no doubt that players and staff have left Soldier Field with a loss to start the season. I felt an extra sense of urgency afterwards.
“Honestly, we can’t hear the noise outside,” Shanahan said Friday. “Anytime you lose, there’s more noise outside. Anytime you win, there’s a lot of outside noise telling you how good you are. You can’t respond to noise, it’s hard to do, but it’s That’s why you don’t see it that way.”
How the 49ers bounced back from their first-week performance made Sunday’s game great. The Seahawks had a short week after an emotional victory over the Denver Broncos led by former Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
Could the 49ers use the situation to catch the Seahawks off guard after a sloppy performance in Chicago? All 46 active matchday players have to do their part, but there are a few who can break the scales with their performances.
Here are five players to watch in the 49ers’ home opener at Levi’s Stadium:
LB Dre Greenlaw
Greenlaw has been a big part of the 49ers’ defense since arriving in Santa Clara, but his 2022 debut wasn’t his best. The fourth-year linebacker was called for two penalties to keep the Bears alive and scoring.
Greenlaw also allowed four catches and one touchdown on four targets in coverage. The Arkansas product needs to play a cleaner game, again facing Seattle’s Jayno Smith’s mobile quarterback.
RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
The fifth-year running back is likely to be a starter in the 49ers’ first game after Elijah Mitchell was set to be injured. Wilson had a stellar training camp, a year later with a meniscus injury that kept him out for much of the 2021 season.
Wilson failed to make much progress in the club’s loss to the Bears but became a reliable target for Treylance by catching two of his passes. The Texan native is known for being asked to “choose a line” in goal-line situations and can also help a young quarterback as a check target.
The 49ers had 176 yards on the ground against the Bears in Week 1, but only 63 of those yards came from their two running backs. If Wilson can help keep Sunday’s game going, it will help take the pressure off Lance — especially given the possibility of rain again.
WR Brandon Ayuk
After spending much of the offseason with Lance, Aiyuk will have a breakthrough in the 2022 NFL season. But nature took a toll on his performance in Week 1, as the third-year receiver caught two of his three goals from within 40 yards and dribbled once for seven yards the distance.
The chemistry Aiyuk developed with Lance has yet to be highlighted in the regular season, but there is no doubt that the Arizona product will be a top producer this season. Aiyuk will face the added challenge of playing a second straight game in the rain, although Wideout’s ability to pick up yards after a short pass could be key for the 49ers.
The Seahawks’ minors will be without All-Pro Jamal Adams, but Iyuk told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday that the absence of safety won’t change his mental preparation at all. Confronting Seattle’s defense remains a challenge for field safety Quandre Diggs.
Bosa got off to a strong start in Week 1, but monsoon conditions kept the Bears’ offensive game mostly on the ground. There weren’t many passing and rushing chances in the second half, and he seemed to finish the game quietly.
Bosa finished the season opener with five tackles: a single, a sack and two quarterback hits. The job of Ohio State’s product didn’t get any easier this week with another mobile quarterback on deck.
Bosa and the back line must remain disciplined and not lose control of Smith as he scrambles. With weather once again a factor on Sunday, Bosa’s ability to affect the running game could be the key factor in stopping the Seahawks.
QB Trey Spear
Of course, all eyes will be on Reims’ second game since being named the club’s starting quarterback. How sophomores recover from their Week 1 losses will be analyzed through the microscope.
Lance finished his 2022 debut in 2022 with 13 carries for 54 yards, 13 for 164 yards on 28 shots and an interception. With more rain on Sunday, the young quarterback will need to develop his short game.
RELATED: Lance must maintain his running edge, says Shanahan
Being able to check into the group of talented, skilled players surrounding him will be key to Lance’s success on Sunday. Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk and the running backs all have the ability to gain yards after contact, and Lance just needs to give them the chance to do so.
The 22-year-old’s ability to hit the ball is unquestionable, but Lance’s development in getting off the ball quickly is something the Seahawks defense will be watching closely.
Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast
let name = cname + "=";
let decodedCookie = decodeURIComponent(document.cookie);
let ca = decodedCookie.split(';');
for (let i = 0; i < ca.length; i++)
let c = ca[i];
while (c.charAt(0) == ' ')
c = c.substring(1);
if (c.indexOf(name) == 0)
return c.substring(name.length, c.length);
if (getCookie('usprivacy') === '1YYN')
fbq('dataProcessingOptions', ['LDU'], 0, 0);