The San Francisco 49ers began their season on the road for the third-straight year, traveling to the East Coast for a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's been four years since the last meeting between these two historic franchises, and with San Francisco's 30-7 win in the opener, the 49ers improve to 13-10 all-time versus the black and yellow.
The overwhelming victory by San Francisco was made possible by contributions from all three phases of the ball. The 49ers defense set the tone, opening up with five-straight three-and-outs, and the offense responded with a fourth down conversion on the way to an eight-yard touchdown on the opening drive. Special teams also had a perfect first outing with rookie kicker Jake Moody going three-for-three in field goal attempts and nailing all three of his PATs.
Here's the breakdown on the top performers from Week 1:
Top Offensive Performer: WR Brandon Aiyuk
Aiyuk was dominant against the Steelers, recording his third two-touchdown performance of his career on Sunday, and, as a result, topped all offensive performers for the 49ers against Pittsburgh. His 92.9 overall grade in Week 1 is the highest regular season offensive mark of his four-year NFL career. In San Francisco's opener, Aiyuk caught eight passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns and came in clutch with a key block in Christian McCaffrey's 65-yard touchdown run.
The 49ers revamped defensive line debuted in a big way, stalling the Steelers offensive unit most of the game. The reigning AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year did not come away with a sack but did earn an 85.5 mark for his 1.0 tackle and three pressures. Several players noted how his presence helped elevate the play of the entire position group that netted 5.0 sacks of Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett.
In his first regular season game with San Francisco, Ferrell recorded an 84.5 overall grade for his 31 snaps of work. The defensive lineman finished with 2.0 tackles (one for a loss), two quarterback hits and had his strongest showing defending against the run.