The 49ers fan base is almost in panic mode after Week 1. Let's look at five key points heading into Week 2.
DeMeco Ryans' defense against a mobile quarterback
For a first-year defensive coordinator, struggles in the first few seasons are expected. Unfortunately, the 49ers are not in rebuilding mode. They want to reach the moon on the first go. During Week 1, the Lions looked comfortable running the ball right through the middle, and this week's opposition is equipped with a mobile quarterback. So this will be a good dry run to measure what to expect when the 49ers meet their divisional powerhouses. But a few lapses against Jalen Hurts should not be a reason to raise eyebrows on Ryans. The whole NFL is struggling against mobile quarterbacks. The Browns had a two-score lead in the fourth quarter until Mahomes ran circles, then found Tyreek Hill for an across-the-body touchdown pass. If Ryans struggles to shutdown Hurts, it is fine as long as he learns from it.
Week 1, Garoppolo looked like an upgraded version from 2019. He managed to escape a possible sack and was ready to take the fight back to the Lions. With Lance breathing down on his neck, Garoppolo has to play his best game every week. The crowd will challenge any poor performance. Deebo Samuel did not think the 78-yard touchdown pass was the best one he ever caught, but Garoppolo needs to try it without hesitation. George Kittle can get involved more this week to help out Garoppolo. Right now, it is not just about his future with the 49ers.
Who wins the cornerback battle?
Jason Verrett is not the best player on the defense but appears to be the most important player. Now that he is gone for the rest of the year, 0-6 against divisional rivals might not be a shocking result. The 49ers were busy signing whoever was left on the market. It remains to be seen how much impact those veterans can make. The rookie Deommodore Lenoir has a great chance to start the entire season. It would have been great if Ambry Thomas were ready by this time. No one's job is guaranteed, so whoever plays hard during this game will have an advantage going against three challenging teams forthcoming.
Will Brandon Aiyuk get extended playtime?
Against the same opposition last year, Aiyuk jumped over a defender to score a memorable touchdown at Levi's stadium. We were all convinced about the first round draft pick. To the surprise of everyone, Aiyuk was pushed down the pecking order by Kyle Shanahan. The official claim is that Aiyuk is recovering from a hamstring injury. But training camp did not have any noticeable red flags. For fantasy football geeks, Trent Sherfield might be the safe choice now.
Elijah Mitchell or JaMycal Hasty?
With the early exit of Raheem Mostert during Week 1, Mitchell stepped up admirably for the 49ers. He rushed for 104 yards and scored a touchdown on just 19 carries, quite an impressive performance for a rookie. As Mostert decided to undergo season-ending surgery and Jeff Wilson remains on the sidelines, it is interesting to see who will be the No. 1 running back on this team. Hasty had fumble issues in the past, yet he is a very explosive hard-hitting running back who can exploit the mismatches created by the Shanahan scheme. The 49ers do not have any concerns with running backs, but Hasty deserves a chance to prove his worth.