No. 2: RB Carlos Hyde vs. Rams Run Defense
With all the questions the 49ers have at quarterback and wide receiver, it’s not hard to draw the conclusion San Francisco will be a run-first offense this season.
This means running back Carlos Hyde. A lot of him.
A year ago in Week 1 on Monday Night Football, Hyde torched the Minnesota Vikings for 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns. It would be oh-so great if he could have a repeat prime-time performance again this year.
Los Angeles may provide an ample opportunity for Hyde to get some big gains.
Last season, the Rams ranked No. 20 against the run with 1,820 yards allowed. Granted, their offense gained a league-worst 4,761 yards, so the Rams were frequently facing off against teams trying to wind the clock down by moving the ball on the ground.
Still, Hyde figures to be a major X-factor for San Francisco’s offense in this contest.
But Hyde suffered a concussion during the preseason. It’s something worth monitoring. And while he’s listed as probable, don’t be surprised if the Niners limit his carries and exposure.
Hyde will have to make the most out of his opportunities.
Next: LB NaVorro Bowman vs. RB Todd Gurley