The 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers will face the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday. After losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season, the Steelers aren’t expected to win the Week 3 game. However, with a talented roster and an always competitive head coach, winning isn’t out of the realm of possibility — it’s football after all.

Here are four reasons the Steelers will come out with a big-time win against the 49ers.

4. The new-look secondary

Yes, I’m talking about you, Minkah Fitzpatrick. After their trade for the former Dolphin, Pittsburgh’s pass defense is primed to improve, why not start with the first game for Fitzpatrick as a Steeler?

The Steelers appear to be employing Fitzpatrick as a free safety, which, before the trade to acquire him, was perhaps the biggest hole on the defense. Now, it’s a bright spot, as he’ll play alongside Terrell Edmunds. With Joe Haden slated to play, the Pittsburgh secondary can slowly start to go from awful, to competent, to good. Sunday is the first day to show that.

3. Run defense

The 49ers will run the ball. Kyle Shanahan is an outside zone innovator, their offensive line is performing in the run-blocking area, and they have more than enough talent to take advantage of scheme and blocking. Over the first two weeks, the team has racked up an outstanding 357 yards.

The Steelers have allowed 250 yards. That’s less than ideal when tasked with defending the 49ers. However, the Steelers are more than capable of keeping up with the 49ers’ outside zone attack, specifically their linebacking corps. A fearsome foursome of outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree and inside linebackers Devin Bush and Mark Barron is made to run with San Francisco. Perhaps they show they can do that on Sunday.

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2. Mason Rudolph gets going

There is little known about Mason Rudolph’s NFL game. While he has a partial game on tape (last week’s 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks), most are relatively clueless as to what he’ll bring to the table. That will play to Pittsburgh’s advantage, as the 49ers may attack him in more of a generic and less of a specialized way.

If the Steelers are flat-out more prepared, pertaining to Rudolph, over the 49ers (which, they probably are) they may be able to take San Francisco by surprise. If the offensive line holds up a stout pass-rush, Rudolph will dice up a suspect secondary.

1. Desperation

The Steelers are 0-2. A loss may mean a deathblow to their playoff hopes, especially in the AFC North, unless they pull a Texans and win nine straight, of course. That’s where desperation comes into play. The Steelers need this one, the man coaching them, Mike Tomlin, knows this and isn’t one to fold even when he’s expected to.

Pittsburgh knows this. Though early in the season, the team with playoff aspirations every year is playing a must-win game. Prepare to see the Steelers play like that. Expect them to want a Week 3 win more than anyone else.

If they play like their season is on the line, they may leave the Bay Area with hopes of making the postseason.