San Francisco 49ers who need to step up vs. Seattle Seahawks – Niners Wire

The list of things that went wrong for the 49ers in their Week 1 game vs. the Bears is extensive. Pointing at one player or one play simply doesn’t do justice to the sheer volume of big and small things that ultimately led to a 19-10 upset loss in Chicago.
One of the issues the 49ers had was a handful of players they expect to rely on did not play particularly well. A mistake here and there is one thing, but too many good pieces on both sides of the ball had subpar outings to open the season.
We went through the list and found six players who need to play well in Week 2 after they struggled to some degree in Chicago:
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Williams wasn’t necessarily bad in the opener, but he had an uncharacteristically eventful game. He allowed three pressures according to Pro Football Focus, and he got hit with a false start penalty. The standard Williams has set for himself is incredibly high, and with the inexperience along the 49ers’ offensive line they need Williams to be at his best each week. If quarterback Trey Lance’s blind side stays clean the entire offense will be better.
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It was a forgettable 2022 debut for Greenlaw. He whiffed a tackle early in the game that would’ve forced a Bears punt, but instead allowed Chicago to get a first down and extend their drive. Greenlaw was later flagged for hitting Bears QB Justin Fields after a slide, and then committed a facemask on a third-down stop that extended the Bears first TD drive. A more disciplined game from Greenlaw in Week 2 would help a lot against an opportunistic Seattle offense.
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
This is going to be a theme for Lance all year. He wasn’t necessarily bad in Chicago, but a big part of the reason he’s playing for the 49ers is so he can improve via game reps. There needs to be evidence of growth each week, and that needs to continue against Seattle. Getting a good two-minute drive in and getting a couple of completions under pressure would be good building blocks for Lance in his fourth career start.
(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Jackson understandably looked like a rookie in his NFL debut against Chicago. There were times he over-pursued plays and got lost on his pass rushes. He wound up not recording a pressure and did get knocked for a missed tackle by PFF. Perfection isn’t the expectation for the second-round pick from USC, but an impact play or two would be a good sign from him against a couple rookie offensive tackles for Seattle.
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
There may not be a player the 49ers need more than Samuel. He caught just two of his eight targets last week, dropped two passes and fumbled in the red zone. It was a disaster for the All-Pro receiver who also acts as a catalyst for the 49ers offense. San Francisco could’ve used a big play or two Sunday, and with no George Kittle or Elijah Mitchell, the onus falls on Samuel to throw some of the offensive load on his shoulders. It’s hard to imagine two duds in a row for Samuel, so expect a big outing from him in the home opener.
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Wilson had a very good training camp and looked explosive in his lone preseason action against the Texans. Perhaps it was the weather, or coming off the bench against the Bears, but Wilson looked neither decisive nor explosive when he entered the game for Mitchell late in the first half. The veteran RB carried nine times for just 22 yards and in general looked like a shell of the player who broke out with a couple huge games in the 2020 season. A week’s worth of work with the first team should help, and the track may be better in Santa Clara even with some rain in the forecast. Regardless if the 49ers’ two rookies aren’t going to be big contributors in the run game – they need Wilson to put together a much more productive outing than he had in the opener.
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