The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel out west to play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday and that game will feature second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph making his first career NFL start as Ben Roethlisberger is now out for the rest of the season due to an elbow injury. Not surprisingly, the 49ers opened this week as a 6.5-point home favorites over the Steelers, according to vegasinsider.com.
The 49ers enter their Sunday home game against the Steelers with a perfect 2-0 record following road wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals. In both games the 49ers only allowed their opponent to score 17 points while scoring 41 and 31 points themselves, respectively.
Through two games, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has competed 35 of his 52 total pass attempts for 462 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s only been sacked once in the first two games. Garoppolo’s four touchdown passes to date have gone to wide receiver Deebo Samuel, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, running back Raheem Mostert and wide receiver Richie James.
Leading the 49ers in receiving entering Week 3 is tight end George Kittle, who is in his third season. Kittle has caught 11 passes for 108 yards with a long of 36 yards through the first two weeks of the 2019 regular season.
The 49ers leading rusher entering Week 3 is Matt Breida as he has 158 rushing yards for 158 yards and a long of 34 yards. Mostert isn’t far behind Breida, however, as he has 123 yards on 22 carries to date. Jeffrey Wilson has both 49ers rushing touchdowns so far this season.
To date, the 49ers offense is 10 of 22 on third downs and the unit is averaging 6.5 yards per play.
Defensively for the 49ers, linebacker Fred Warner leads the team in tackles with 16 and he’s also forced a fumble and defensed one pass. The 49ers defense has registered seven total sacks through two games and defensive end Arik Armstead leads the team with two. Five other 49ers players have registered sacks and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner leads the defense in official quarterback hits with three.
49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon enters Week 3 as the team leader in passes defensed with five and he also has one of the team’s four total interceptions. Cornerback Richard Sherman, linebacker Kwon Alexander and linebacker Mark Nzeocha are the other three 49ers with interceptions so far this season.
While opposing offenses have converted 14 of the 29 third down opportunities against the 49ers defense to date, San Francisco has allowed just a 4.7 yards per play average. Three of the four touchdowns allowed by the 49ers so far this season were passes. The other one was an interception return in their Week 1 game against the Buccaneers.
The 49ers lead the all-time series against the Steelers 11-10 entering the Sunday meeting between the two teams. The Steelers are 0-2 against the 49ers in the last two games played in San Francisco with the last loss coming in a Monday night game in 2011. The Steelers last beat the 49ers in San Francisco in 1999.
The Steelers are also 1-5 in games played in the Pacific Time Zone under head coach Mike Tomlin.
Scott Novak will be the referee for the Sunday game between the 49ers and Steelers.