No. 2: Edge rusher Dee Ford
For a guy who didn’t practice all week and was a question mark heading into the game, the 49ers new edge rusher Dee Ford made quite an impact.
His raw stats were not eye-popping, as he ended the game with just one tackle, which was for loss, and a single sack.
But once again, the eye test during the game tells more of the story.
Ford was constantly creating pressure on Mason Rudolph, as he and the rest of the 49ers defensive line continued to push the Steelers’ well-respected offensive line back, collapsing the pocket and forcing Rudolph into errant throws.
Ford’s numbers are unlikely to be as impressive as they were last season in Kansas City with the Chiefs. But if he can produce these kind of pressure numbers, even if the sacks don’t hit the heights he has in years past, he’ll continue to be as vital a part of this defense as he was in Week 3.