The San Francisco 49ers surprised many with their dominant victory over the Vikings on Monday Night Football, and they'll look to keep that momentum going this weekend against the Steelers. Here are three reasons why they'll beat Pittsburgh on Sunday:
3) San Francisco's defense is still great
The 49ers defense was thought to take a MAJOR step back this year after losing Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and Chris Boreland, among others, but their demise has been greatly exaggerated. The return of NaVorro Bowman spearheaded a dominant defensive effort against the Vikings as Minnesota only picked up 248 total yards despite their multitude of weapons. San Francisco will do the same thing to a Steelers offense without Le'Veon Bell.
2) Pittsburgh's defensive struggles
Pittsburgh's defense allowed 361 yards to the Patriots on Thursday, most of which came on total defensive breakdowns. From busted coverages to failing to get lined up properly, the Steelers made a lot of mental mistakes on that side of the ball. If they do that again against the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco will have a field day.
1) Carlos Hyde's continued dominance
In his first game as the 49ers' feature back, Hyde outplayed Adrian Peterson, rushing for over five times as many yards as the former MVP. Hyde racked up 168 yards and two scores on just 26 carries, and proved he can be the workhorse this offense needs. San Francisco will continue to rely on him in a big way, and he'll respond with another big game.