The San Francisco 49ers handed it to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 1 matchup, defeating the home team by the score of 30-7.
The game wasn’t nearly as close as that lopsided final score would indicate. At one point, San Francisco had outgained the Steelers 199-1 in the first half.
It was a dominant season-opening win for the 49ers. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s offense sputtered big time after looking great during the preseason.
In talking about the game after the fact, 49ers All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams opted to throw a tremendous amount of shade in the Steelers’ direction. The target was their poor offense. It wasn’t subtle.
“You just kind of wanted them to get a first down. There were all those three-and-outs, and we kind of needed a break,” Trent Williams on the Steelers’ offense in Week 1.
When your offense is rooting for an opposing team to get a first down, you know things are working favorably in your direction. Pittsburgh’s offense consisted of four three-and-outs and a Kenny Pickett interception in its first five possessions. The team didn’t get into the positive yardage category until its final drive of the first half.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin pretty much echoed what Williams had to say after Pittsburgh’s ugly Week 1 showing.
“We didn’t win enough possession downs to be competitive, Tomlin told reporters. “You can’t start 0-for-5 on third down and think you’re going to have the type of day that you desire. You’ve got to win the weighty downs.”
All said, Pittsburgh finished the game converting on a mere 5-of-15 third-down opportunities. San Francisco also controlled the clock, winning the time of possession battle by a near 14-minute margain.
The Steelers now set their sights on a divisional game against the Cleveland Browns this coming Monday. It’s not going to be any easier after Cleveland held the Cincinnati Bengals to six first downs in Week 1.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers take their road act to Southern California for a divisional matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. They have now won 11 consecutive regular-season games while averaging north of 30 points per outing. No word yet on whether Trent Williams will be rooting for Matthew Stafford and Co. to get some first downs in that one.