While the 49ers enjoyed plenty of standouts in their win over the Lions in Week 1, these five players surely stood out the most.
It wasn’t easy, especially if you focus solely on the latter stages of the fourth quarter. But the San Francisco 49ers at least have to feel relieved they pulled off a 41-33 road win over the Detroit Lions in Week 1 to open up their regular-season campaign.
The big storylines from the game will be, of course, why Detroit was able to successfully threaten the Niners’ once-commanding fourth-quarter lead. That, and how veteran cornerback Jason Verrett’s serious knee injury casts an ominous shadow for 2021 in light of all the team’s injuries suffered a year ago.
While those are both worrisome, they do cover up the fact a number of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s players showcased some excellent playmaking abilities during the game.
These five deserve to be called out for the right reasons.
No. 5: 49ers EDGE Dee Ford
In all honestly, both of San Francisco’s top two edge rushers, Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, should get a lot of credit going up against a still-good Lions offensive line on Sunday. And while Bosa made his presence felt, recording his first sack of 2021 during the game, Ford was surely the one who was all over the place.
Yes, Ford was flagged for one offsides penalty. But watching his get-off was truly remarkable, and the kind of speed he had back in 2018 before joining the 49ers a year later was on display throughout the game.
Despite suffering multiple injuries during his Niners tenure, Ford appears fully healthy and recovered from the back injury suffered a year ago at this time, which forced him to miss the rest of 2020.
In total, Ford finished Week 1 with a sack and two quarterback hits, flashing that kind of reckless speed that should make him a defensive factor for weeks to come.
As long as he remains healthy.