The San Francisco 49ers didn’t have much to worry about in Week 1 as they demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-7 to take their first victory of the 2023 NFL season.
The 49ers looked like they hadn’t missed a beat from last year as they were their usual selves on both sides of the field against the Steelers.
San Francisco stuck its identity of running the football via Christian McCaffrey which then in turn allowed Brock Prudy to find holes in the Pittsburgh pass defense.
As for their own defensive unit, the 49ers gave Kenny Pickett almost no time to operate in the pocket which led to plenty of short drives for the Steelers.
The second half was more of the same as San Francisco controlled the tempo and pace of the game.
Kyle Shanahan decided to keep his starters in in the fourth quarter despite the game being out of hand though he had his reasons via Pro Football Talk.
“You pull guys when you think the game’s over and you do that off of experience and we didn’t think the game was over when it’s at that point,” Shanahan said.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan kept his starters on the field late in a 30-7 win over the Steelers. The decision was influenced by Detroit nearly erasing a 41-17 deficit with two minutes left in 2021. https://t.co/OkXE3YUInZ
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 13, 2023
In the NFL, teams can score in a hurry and although there was no sign from Pittsburgh actually threatening to take a lead Shanahan took a cautious approach.
The Detroit Lions game from the 2021 NFL season is an incredibly rare situation where a team is able to come back down multiple scores with less than two minutes to go.
Although the 49ers managed to hold on, it seemed to have stuck with Shanahan who took the smart approach and left his regulars in to ensure there would be no let down.NEXT: 49ers' DT Has High Praise For Kyle Shanahan