The Steelers will meet the 49ers in just over a week from Saturday, but the NFL previews are already rolling in, and so are the predictions for the Week 1 clash. As such, in NFL Network’s early Steelers vs. 49ers preview, most experts think Pittsburgh will knock off the 49ers to move to 1-0.
60 percent of NFL Network’s analysts lean towards the Steelers winning the matchup. However, none of the analysts vying for either side have the game as a blowout. Two analysts, including Daniel Jeremiah, have Pittsburgh notching the game by just one point. The most significant swing in Pittsburgh’s favor is just three points. Meanwhile, Maurice Jones-Drew has the 49ers beating Pittsburgh 26-17, the most significant swing either way. Here is the full slate of picks from those analysts.
Choosing who will win this game this far out can be tough. For one, Nick Bosa is not yet back with the 49ers, and while both sides have optimism they will reach a contract, that is no guarantee. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan both have optimism he will be back before the game, and that he can practice.
“I thought it would come probably at this time, just looking at the history of those things,” Shanahan said. “And I’m really hoping it gets done. I know they’re working tirelessly at it, but hopefully, we can get him in here sooner than later.”
Nick Bosa is asking to become the highest-paid edge rusher in the NFL. A week ago, Ian Rapoport suggested that Bosa could legitimately miss the team’s first game against the Steelers while his contract situation plays out. Lynch noted there is now “open, healthy communication” between the 49ers and Bosa’s side. It should end up being a hotly-contested matchup, with the game being the fifth-most wanted ticket in the NFL so far this season.