5 reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will win in Week 1 vs. the San Francisco 49ers

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49ers have too many question marks

Is Purdy really healthy enough to survive a full game of action right out of the gate? He didn’t have surgery until March and wasn’t able to begin throwing again until May. But the 49ers believed in him enough to let Jimmy Garoppolo walk and trade last season’s opening-day starter, Trey Lance, to the Cowboys in late August.

One also might wonder if Purdy is the real answer for the 49ers. He obviously played well down the stretch last season until getting hurt. But by the time he made his first start, the 49ers were a well-oiled machine, having already won five in a row since trading for McCaffrey. 

Until the playoff game at Philadelphia, Purdy had only faced two teams -- Seattle and Las Vegas -- on the road. The Seahawks and Raiders ranked 25th and 26th respectively in scoring defense last season. So this game could be a big challenge for “Mr. Irrelevant”, playing against a solid defense in front of a raucous partisan crowd.

Other offensive question marks for the 49ers include TE George Kittle missing most of practice this week with a groin injury. He says he's ready to go. Veteran OT Trent Williams is one of the best in the business, but what about the other four on the offensive line? Especially new starting right tackle Colton McKivitz, who takes over for the departed Mike McGlinchey and will have to attempt to block T.J. Watt the entire game. 

On defense, 2022 NFL Defensive Player-of-the-Year Nick Bosa should play against the Steelers after missing all of the pre-season due to a contract holdout. But how effective will the defensive end be after signing his record contract just two days before the final practice of the week?

Lastly, how will the league's top returning defense perform under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks? DeMeco Ryans left to be the head coach at Houston following last season.