Steelers vs. 49ers: Five questions with Niner Noise


The Steelers open their 2015 home schedule on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. They’ll be looking for their first win while the 49ers will be looking to build on their Monday Night Football victory. Football is back on the North Shore.

Throughout the season Still Curtain will be taking you inside to get the dirt on the opposing team through the FanSided network. We’ll be interviewing the opposing teams’ site to get you the inside info on the Steelers opponents.

This week we have Douglas Totten, editor of Niner Noise, the San Francisco 49ers-themed site for FanSided. Doug covers everything from the 49ers roster change this offseason to new head coach Jim Tomsula and even a game prediction and score.

San Francisco was picked to have a down year this season thanks to the mass exodus of the defensive players in the offseason and the appointment of first-time head coach Jim Tomsula. With the 20-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on MNF, do fans have more faith or will they have to see more?

For all the news the 49ers generated, people did a poor job researching just who they have left on their team. Very few of their losses were actually serious. Willis was old, Justin Smith was old, and the cornerbacks who left were overpaid. Losing Aldon Smith and Chris Borland did hurt, but Baalke has done a solid job building a deep team through drafting injured or value players.

Fans definitely have more faith after that performance, as ugly as the first half was. If the defense plays like this all season, the 49ers will surprise everyone even more.

Speaking of Jim Tomsula; he’s a native of the Pittsburgh area and a first-time head coach in the NFL. What is the confidence level 49ers fans have in him to keep the team in contention in that ultra-competitive NFC West? 

This is a tough one. Honestly, no one knows what to think. On the one hand it is easy to imagine him becoming an organizational “Yes-Man.” On the other, Tomsula is one of the most beloved players’ coaches in the NFL, even at this early stage. Some fans are behind him all the way, but most are at least somewhat skeptical.

The 49ers defense was able to hold the Vikings to just 3 points on Monday night thanks to a very active pass rush recording five sacks by five different defenders. Does Eric Mangini have the goods to stop the Steelers offensive weapons too?

Simply put, yes. Will he is another question, however. The 49ers have the tools and the players to shut down most teams in the NFL if they play lights-out.  Against players like Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger, however, they actually will have to play lights-out if they want to hold the Steelers’ offense below, 10 points. I don’t think that will happen, but I do think the 49ers’ D will do enough to give their offense a chance.

As a fan I can’t help but react the fan violence that seems to be associated with San Francisco teams. What the heck is in the water out there? Do you think cutting off alcohol sales at games is the answer? 

That incident was, to put it bluntly, an abomination and an embarrassment to 49ers fans everywhere. It should have never happened.

It is interesting you mention alcohol sales. I’m not sure how much you follow European soccer, but in England alcohol is allowed, but only in the concourse and not at one’s seat. In Spain no alcohol is allowed whatsoever. The reason these leagues went to their respective policies was due to repetitive and regular (as in, like, most games) incidents like what was seen last Monday.

If you are really interested, Google “Hooliganism” for more info. I don’t think alcohol sales will be banned anytime soon, even if it would help. I wish I had a better answer, but a couple of horrific actions years apart, as embarrassing as they are, does not a bad fan base make.

What is your prediction with score for the game?

This is one of those games I could see going either way, but with the 49ers coming off a short week and the Steelers coming off a long one, I’ll give the edge to Pittsburgh, 27-20.

There you have it, Steeler Nation. What questions would you have asked?

You can check out my answers to Doug’s questions by checking out Niner Noise.

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Can the Steelers win without Le'Veon Bell?

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