The San Francisco 49ers are riding high after their 41-17 domination of the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s the first time the team began a season with two road wins since 1989. The 49ers won the Super Bowl that year. The team is now back in Santa Clara, preparing to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2019 home opener at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers may have moved on, but we’re still breaking down their impressive win on Sunday.
Here’s our stock report after the 49ers’ 2-0 start:
Stock up: Kyle Shanahan
Sunday was a masterpiece for the 49ers head coach. Shanahan took the Bengals to school, scheming players open and creating chunk plays with ease. The offense was firing on all cylinders against a Cincinnati defense that held the Seahawks to just 21 points in Seattle the week prior. Shanahan’s offense generated a whopping 572 yards of total offense, averaging 8.4 yards per play, 6.2 yards per rush and 17.4 yards per pass. Domination.
Stock down: Offensive line
Sunday’s overwhelmingly positive performance for the 49ers was quickly overshadowed by the news afterward. Left tackle Joe Staley was carted off the field in the third quarter with what’s now been diagnosed with a fractured fibula in his left leg. The 49ers expect Staley to be out for 6-8 weeks. Rookie Justin Skule, who replaced Staley on Sunday, struggled during the preseason and may not be the permanent solution. Shanahan said on Monday that the team would explore all avenues to replace a 13-year veteran and longest-tenured member of the 49ers.
Stock up: Robert Saleh
Shanahan wasn’t the only coach to show out against the Bengals. Saleh led the 49ers defense to a stifling performance, holding the Bengals offense to just 17 points, seven of which was added in the final seconds of garbage time. San Francisco’s defense totaled four sacks from four different players, adding nine tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, and an interception. The 49ers defense currently ranks in the Top 10 in total yards, rushing yards and points allowed.
Stock down: WR Dante Pettis
Pettis’ slump continues. The second-year wideout was irrelevant in the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Buccaneers, catching one pass for seven yards. Pettis’ only contribution against the Bengals was on a trick play, throwing the ball across the field to rookie receiver Deebo Samuel. Pettis’ lackluster training camp has carried over into the season, and it would appear his stock has dropped to an all-time low.
Stock up: Outlook
The 49ers started the season with two wins for the first time since 2012. After two weeks on the East Coast, the team now travels back to Santa Clara for their home opener against the Steelers at Levi’s Stadium. The 0-2 Steelers will be without their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who is out for the season due to an elbow injury. The 49ers then have a bye week and expect to get back injured players like running back Tevin Coleman and wideout Trent Taylor. In Week 5, the 49ers face the 1-1 Cleveland Browns at home. The 49ers have a real chance to start the season 4-0.
Stock down: Penalties
The 49ers were the recipients of 11 penalties for 87 yards in the team’s Week 1 win over the Buccaneers, three of which erased touchdowns for the offense. Things didn’t get better against the Bengals. San Francisco was flagged nine times for 75 yards. Running back Raheem Mostert had a touchdown called back on a holding call for the second consecutive week. Shanahan will need to find a way to reduce the dirty laundry before they cost the 49ers a win.