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Brock Purdy Leads 49ers in Season-Opening Rout of Steelers

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 30-7 victory, with Brock Purdy throwing for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 30-7 victory on Sunday. Quarterback Brock Purdy, who led the 49ers to the NFC championship game last season, returned from offseason elbow surgery and threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns to Brandon Aiyuk. Purdy looked sharp, completing 19 of 29 passes and connecting with Aiyuk for scoring strikes of 8 and 19 yards.

The 49ers' offense was further bolstered by running back Christian McCaffery, who ran for 151 yards and caught three passes for 17 more. The team showcased the dominant force it was at the end of last season when Purdy took over at quarterback.

Defensively, the 49ers didn't need star player Nick Bosa to make a significant impact. Bosa, who recently signed a record-breaking contract, had two tackles and a quarterback hit. The 49ers were able to keep the Steelers and quarterback Kenny Pickett in check without relying heavily on Bosa's disruptive presence.

Pickett struggled throughout the game, completing 31 of 46 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The optimism that followed a strong preseason for the Steelers quickly faded as they punted or turned the ball over in their first five possessions. The 49ers capitalized on Pittsburgh's mistakes, building a commanding 20-0 lead early in the game.

Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who had expressed confidence in picking off Purdy, was unable to fulfill his prediction. Peterson slipped on San Francisco's first possession, allowing Purdy to find Aiyuk for a wide-open touchdown. Despite being in perfect position in the second quarter, Peterson couldn't prevent Aiyuk from making another touchdown catch, this time with Peterson draped all over him.

While Purdy excelled, Pickett struggled to find his rhythm. The rest of the Steelers' offense also faltered, only recording their first down late in the first half. A touchdown pass from Pickett to Pat Freiermuth briefly cut the deficit to 20-7, but the 49ers quickly responded with a 65-yard touchdown run by McCaffery early in the second half.

Pittsburgh was unable to mount a comeback, even with linebacker T.J. Watt achieving three sacks to break the franchise record previously held by James Harrison. Watt surpassed Harrison's record in just 88 games, compared to Harrison's 177.

The Steelers suffered additional injuries during the game, with defensive tackle Cameron Heyward leaving in the second quarter with a groin injury and wide receiver Diontae Johnson exiting in the third quarter due to a hamstring tweak.

The 49ers will face the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday, looking to continue their success after sweeping the season series against them last year.

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