The San Francisco 49ers kick off their 2019 regular season on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and these five players are ones you should watch in the contest.
Last season, the San Francisco 49ers traveled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road following the Niners’ bye week in Week 11. What followed was a 27-9 shellacking by Tampa Bay, likely influenced by the sudden release of linebacker Reuben Foster and the gut punch stemming from yet another legal run-in by San Francisco’s 2017 first-round NFL Draft pick.
Now, the 49ers open up their 2019 campaign on the road against the Buccaneers again, facing off against these NFC foes in Week 1.
The context is entirely different, of course. Tampa Bay has a new head coach, Bruce Arians, who is familiar with San Francisco from his days coaching the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center for the Niners, not Nick Mullens. The 49ers defense is also revamped, particularly within the front seven, including a former Buccaneers player making his return to the team which drafted him back in 2015, linebacker Kwon Alexander.
There are always going to be overreactions to Week 1 matchups. Remember back in 2016 when the 49ers shut out the Los Angeles Rams 28-0? Well, the Niners would go on to record one of the worst defenses in NFL history that season.
So there are likely going to be some crazy takeaways from head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co.’s efforts this Sunday. Yet that doesn’t change the fact a number of players prompt the need to watch.
Here are five fans should pay particular attention to when the Niners and Bucs square off to open up their respective 2019 campaigns.