The San Francisco 49ers’ 8-0 start to the 2019 season is no fluke, and the Niners don’t lack for standout performers. But these five players still need to up their game for the second half.
The San Francisco 49ers are off to their best start since 1990, when that year’s team started off a perfect 10-0.
At 8-0, the Niners have mostly dominated their opponents and currently own a point differential of plus-16.6, which ranks second in the league and only behind the also-undefeated New England Patriots.
Yet one could argue San Francisco’s first half of 2019 featured less-than-stellar opponents. Out of all the teams head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad has faced this season, only the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers have above-.500 records at the halfway point of the year.
The 49ers schedule gets considerably more difficult from this point onward.
So far, the Niners have ridden a lockdown defense and strong running game, mixed in with some excellent play from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, particularly during the team’s 28-25 Week 9 win over the stubborn Arizona Cardinals. But there is plenty of room for improvement, and a number of players are going to need to step up in the second half.
This article focuses on them.
A number of players who need strong stretches between Weeks 10 and 17 are listed here. Considering San Francisco’s start guarantees nothing more than a .500 finish this year, Shanahan and Co. will look at these five players to ramp up their efforts, as the Niners look to make their push into the postseason.
And the first player on this list finds himself in a situation not by choice, rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw.