4 bold predictions for the Steelers vs. 49ers in week 1

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39)
Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL football is back, and the Steelers are set to take on the 49ers in week one to begin their season. There has been a lot of turnover this offseason as this team takes shape with a new identity. Despite a middling season last year, I really like the way this Pittsburgh roster has taken shape.

With the first game set to occur on Sunday, I wanted to start up my yearly tradition of some bold predictions for this first outing. This was harder than expected, as I don’t have a great feel as to what this team will do this season. With that all said, here are four bold predictions for the Steelers in week one.

Steelers get a jump from DeMarvin Leal

One of the more curious players on the Steelers defense, DeMarvin Leal was used as a hybrid defender last season. While he will still see some snaps as an edge rusher, he seems to be settled more into a defensive lineman role. He had a strong offseason, showing some growth as a pass and run defender.

The 49ers don’t boast a strong interior of their offensive line. I fully expect the Steelers line to get a lot of push and wreak some havoc down there. Leal is a name I have circled this week, as I think he has a big showing to start off his second season.

Add in the fact that Larry Ogunjobi has been limited ahead of this game, and Leal could get some additional work against the 49ers. I think he shows up with a sack, a big run stop, and is just generally in the backfield all game causing issues for San Francisco.