Steelers studs and duds in grueling Week 1 loss against the 49ers

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers Dud: Patrick Peterson and the defense spoil T.J. Watt's big day

If I had to guess, Patrick Peterson probably wishes he hadn't made his comments about the 49ers offense in the lead-up to this game. Peterson had an abysmal day in coverage, slipping while trying to cover Brandon Aiyuk on the 49er's first touchdown and then allowing another Aiyuk score later in the game as well. As great as Peterson has been during his long NFL career, he may be best suited to play in the slot moving forward.

It wasn't just Peterson who was losing in coverage for the Steelers defense either. Levi Wallace was outmatched all day against the 49ers, routinely getting picked on by Brock Purdy. He also missed a tackle on Christian McCaffrey that led to his huge 65-yard touchdown right after halftime.

Speaking of McCaffrey, the Steelers run defense didn't show up today. They had a few run stops sprinkled in courtesy of Elandon Roberts, Alex Highsmith, and T.J. Watt but overall they struggled to deal with the 49er's running game.

All together the defense allowed nearly 400 yards of offense and 30 points, both numbers well above what they allowed on average last season. With the way the offense performed, the defense may need to be the one to carry the team yet again this season. If they perform like this too often, however, the Steelers long streak of non-losing seasons could be in jeopardy.

dark. Next. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Steelers Week 1 loss vs. 49ers. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Steelers Week 1 loss vs. 49ers