Week 2: San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Recap

Markus Wheaton in action from 9/20/15
Markus Wheaton in action from 9/20/15

Final: Pittsburgh 43, San Francisco 18

The big plays continued to come in bunches for the Steelers on Sunday afternoon as they completed a whipping of the previously 1-0 49ers in the Steel City.

The Niners dominated on defense in their Monday night 20-3 win over Minnesota in Week 1, but this time around it was a different story.  Ben Roethlisberger had his way with Eric Mangini’s defense, throwing for 369 yards and three scores.  DeAngelo Williams had another solid game on the ground, contributing with three scores of his own while rushing for 77 yards.  Pittsburgh racked up 453 yards of total offense while possessing the ball for only 23:01.  Explosive plays were the name of the game here, and Big Ben made plenty of them.  The Steelers averaged a whopping 8.7 yards per play and 13.7

Ryan Shazier dragging down Colin Kapernick from Sunday's game 9/20/15
Ryan Shazier dragging down Colin Kapernick from Sunday’s game 9/20/15

yards per pass play.  In comparison, the Niners gained an average of 5.0 yards per play and 5.8 yards per pass play.  Antonio Brown had a monster game with 195 yards receiving and a touchdown (on nine grabs).  He now leads the NFL in receiving yards by a mile, two games into the season with 328 yards (Julio Jones is next on the list with 276).  Defensively, the Steelers looked much better than they did against New England.  Ryan Shazier shined yet again, showing amazing speed to chase down the athletic San Francisco quarterback on numerous different occasions.

San Francisco, as bad as they were on defense, does have a reason to be slightly optimistic.  Colin Kaepernick played well, throwing for 335 yards and two scores.  He set a career high in attempts (with 46) and completions (with 33) and was able to find the end-zone twice, one of those coming on the back-end of a monster 75 yard touchdown strike to Torrey Smith on a skinny post.  That said, the 49ers really wasted a lot of opportunities.  They had two 17-play drives in this game that netted them a grand total of three points.  Carlos Hyde showed some toughness in this game as well coming back after suffering a knee injury in the first half and a head injury in the second.  He was a non-factor due to the fact that the game got out of hand pretty quickly.

Colin Kaepernick throwing the ball from 9/20/15
Colin Kaepernick throwing the ball from 9/20/15

The Niners look to bounce back on the road at 2-0 Arizona next week while the Steelers take on the Rams in St. Louis.  Looking back on this game, it is safe to say that each team had a completely different experience from the one they had during the first week of action.  Pittsburgh looks like they might have the best offense in all of football while the 49ers have some questions to answer on both sides of the ball.  However, if San Fran can combine the offensive effort they put forth this week with the defensive one they put up last, they would be a formidable team.  The season is still young, but it is safe to say that the Niners have a long way to go while the Steelers are right where they should be.

The Skinny

  • Both teams put up over 395 yards of total offense in this game, joining the Atlanta Falcons as the only teams to do that in both games this year (Pittsburgh is the only team with over 400 yards in both games)
  • DeAngelo Williams becomes the first Steeler since Willie Parker to score three rushing touchdowns in one game, and
    Antonio Brown outrunning the San Francisco defense during Week 2
    Antonio Brown outrunning the San Francisco defense during Week 2

    he saw the end zone three times for the first time since 2008

  • The 75 yard touchdown reception that Torrey Smith hauled in during the 4th quarter was the longest of his career
  • San Francisco wasted over a quarter’s worth of time on two 17-play drives where they were only able to score three points
  • Pittsburgh went for a two point conversion twice in this game and succeeded both times.  It would appear as though Mike Tomlin will be quite aggressive when it comes to going for two seeing as how Josh Scobee missed an extra point in this game as well
  • Antonio Brown makes 7+ catches for the 13th consecutive game, an NFL record
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