While the 49ers offense struggled in Week 1, this side of the ball will have to be on point versus a suspect Seahawks defense in Week 2.
The San Francisco 49ers did not get off to a great start in 2022 in the wake of a 19-10 Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Yet the Niners will have a chance to right the ship in Week 2 with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town.
In light of the offensive struggles San Francisco had in Week 1, two names should be among those to watch versus the Hawks: wide receivers Ray-Ray McCloud and the rookie, Danny Gray.
McCloud brings extra speed and experience to a Niners team that covets creating space for its playmakers. A year ago with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021, McCloud had his most productive season as a wide receiver. He was targeted 66 times, hauled in 39 passes and posted a 17.3 yards-per-game average.
That’s enough production to catch the eye of head coach Kyle Shanahan. Combine McCloud’s speed with Shanny’s creativity, and the Niners may have found themselves another useful weapon they’ll want to deploy in full this year (and specifically in Week 2).
Speaking of weapons, that’s exactly where Gray comes in. We’ve only gotten a small sample size of Gray’s talent from the preseason, but from what little he’s put on tape, the excitement for the young wideout is justifiable.
Perhaps Gray making a debut versus Seattle will reveal more.
49ers offense has to be at its peak vs. Seahawks in Week 2
Despite some of his own struggles in Week 1 against the Bears, second-year quarterback Trey Lance will be facing off against a depleted Seahawks defense in Week 2 and will look to take advantage of both McCloud and Gray in addition to the other weapons San Francisco boasts.
Seattle gave up over 430 total yards of offense during its Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos, yet some Denver mismanagement ultimately opened the door to a Seahawks victory.
While the 49ers defense can look to clamp down over a full four quarters this time around, it’ll be Lance and the offense who’ll need to ensure the Niners’ Week 2 victory.
The one thing Lance has to keep in mind is he won’t have to play “hero ball” because of the surrounding cast at his disposal.
In order for him to help get this team over the hump, he just has to be slightly better than a game manager.
The quest for six got off to a forgettable start, but the journey has just begun. As we prepare for Week 2, San Francisco must shake off the sting from the last loss and get ready to defend home turf against the Hawks.
Both teams kick off on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4:05 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.