Happy game day. Is there any part of you that’s nervous about today? The 49ers are 8.5-point favorites and the total for Sunday’s game is 45.5. That would suggest Vegas predicts a blowout. I agree.
Detroit yielded a league-worst 32.4 points per game a season ago. Outside of adding a new coordinator in Aaron Glenn, this unit did not improve a whole heck of a lot. San Francisco has plus-level matchups with George Kittle slated to go up against linebacker Jamie Collins and safety Tracy Walker. Meanwhile, sophomore wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk will go up against a young corner in Jeff Okudah who struggled last season (129th out of 137th among NFL corners as a rookie, per Pro Football Focus metrics).
Detroit might have yielded the fifth-most rushing yards a season ago, but it’s time San Francisco gets its passing game going early and often. Step on Detroit’s throats and go from there.
Week 1 – Sunday, September 12 at Detroit – 10:00 a.m. PT on FOX
- WIN, 1-0
- The 49ers absolutely dominate the Lions, whose roster fails to make any sense; they’ll be without Taylor Decker and starting rookie Penei Sewell at left tackle (though I suspect he’ll look more comfortable back on the left than on the right, where he’s looked completely lost).
- Something like 38-20 with 212 rushing yards sounds about right
“I see a guy who’s got a chance to be real good at it,” Lance told Greg Papa this past week in a feature for NBC Sports Bay Area. “I mean, that stuff takes time for any of those guys, but one of the things I liked about Trey in college a lot was how he played in the pocket. The stuff he does outside of the pocket is what intrigues you the most, but that stuff only lasts so long. If that’s all you’ve got to hang your hat on, it’s a matter of time before they will stop you.
“You’ve got to be able to do both, and he had the ability to do that in college. Now, just like all college-to-the-NFL [transitions], that pocket is a lot different in the NFL, especially the [collegiate] level that he played at.”
Figuring out the top running back on the 49ers’ depth chart isn’t easy heading into Week 1, and it may not clear up at all during the year. Raheem Mostert is electric in this offense and a home run threat every time he touches the ball. He should lead the club in rushing yards. However, as a curveball, we’ve got rookie Trey Sermon leading the team in carries. Having a fresh, healthy Mostert is imperative for the 49ers’ rushing attack to hit its ceiling, so expect him to get his 12-15 carries per game while Sermon settles in at the 15-18 range where he’s the one salting away games late.
49ers earn No. 5 seed as Rams go 13-4
The Matt Stafford experiment goes swimmingly down in Inglewood. The Rams open with a 35-17 beatdown of Andy Dalton and the Chicago Bears with Stafford throwing for 370 yards and four touchdowns in the romp.
From there, Sean McVay turns the passing game loose as Stafford averages 42 passes per game and throws for 40 touchdowns while finishing second in the MVP voting behind Brady, the ageless GOAT.
But while the Rams steamroll over almost everyone in their path, the 49ers are a different story.
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions — The 49ers were the most-injured team in the league last season, and now everybody is healthy and they added another quarterback because hey, their defense is already good enough. Alex Mack was a nice addition and they should run the ball down teams’ throats. Especially kneecap biters like the Lions. 49ERS