The 49ers’ offense couldn’t get off the ground in the Week 1 loss against the Bears. Nine of their 11 possessions ended with zero points, including their last four drives of the game. Obviously, the weather played a factor, but the offense just wasn’t able to gain any momentum. The offense will need to solve their problems quickly as a tricky game against the Seattle Seahawks is next.
Here are the five players to watch on the 49ers’ offense against the division rivals.
RB Jeff Wilson
Wilson is likely to be slated as the starting running back for at least Sunday, with Elijah Mitchell out for the next two months. In his five seasons with the 49ers, Wilson has only started in nine games, but he’s been productive over the small sample. He has averaged 16.8 carries for 81.2 yards in games he starts, including three 100+ yard games, with his most recent start coming in Week 15 last season against the Titans. Wilson will likely be used in heavy rotation with Deebo Samuel but should get the lion’s share of touches out of the running back group.
WR Deebo Samuel
Samuel was used once again as the wideback in the 49ers’ Week 1 loss against the Bears. He finished with eight rushing attempts for 52 yards with a touchdown and a lost fumble in the red zone.
What was most concerning for Samuel was his performance in the passing game. The receiver was targeted a team-high seven times but had only two receptions for 14 yards and had as many drops as he did receptions. Samuel will likely see an increased role in the running game with the aforementioned Mitchell injury, but the 49ers will need more production from him in the pass game to take some pressure off of their young quarterback.
LT Trent Williams
In what may have been the biggest box score surprise from Week 1, Trent Williams had the most pressures allowed on the 49ers offensive line with three per Pro Football Focus. In his 24 games with the 49ers, Sunday was just the seventh time the All-Pro tackle allowed three or more pressures in a game. The offensive line caught some flack for their performance against the Bears, allowing 13 pressures on 27 snaps when the Bears didn’t blitz and Williams wasn’t his usual self. Look for a big bounce-back game from Williams against the Seahawks.
WR Jauan Jennings
Jennings had a quietly good game in Chicago, leading the 49ers in receptions and yards with his four-catch, 62-yard performance. Forty-four of those yards came on a single play when Jennings beat Kyler Gordon in the slot for the longest play of the game for the 49ers. He was also used heavily on third downs, targeted four times for two receptions and two first downs, including the 44-yard reception.
When the 49ers played Seattle last season, Jennings wasn’t quite established in the 49ers offense being targeted just twice in two games, but following the 49ers’ Week 12 loss against Seattle, Jennings was targeted 25 times over the next five games. As a result, the second-year receiver is now well established in the offense and will get plenty of looks against the Seattle secondary.
QB Trey Lance
Let’s all be in agreement that from this point forward, Trey Lance is automatically on the players to watch list, so there can be a blurb about another offensive player. We know Lance is a player to watch, and he has been ever since he was taken third overall in the 2021 draft. Week 1 wasn’t the best Lance performance we’ve seen but there were some flashes. Now let’s see how he bounces back against a division rival in a game the 49ers would like especially after the Week 1 loss. Seattle got a sample of Lance in 2021, allowing 157 yards on nine completions and two touchdowns to Lance after the then-rookie replaced an injured Jimmy Garoppolo.