The San Francisco 49ers managed to secure a gritty win against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season. Although this victory brought a sense of positivity for the 49ers, there are still a number of worrisome aspects that surfaced during the game. In this piece, we will delve into four significant areas of concern for the 49ers and discuss why they should be apprehensive.

The 49ers' Week 2 Triumph

Contrary to expectations, the Rams, packed with star power in the NFC West, did not easily overpower their intrastate rivals. The 49ers surged in the second half to secure a 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. This outcome aligned with the expectations of San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan.

“Oh, yeah, we definitely did,” remarked Shanahan. “We watched the film from last week. That quarterback (Matthew Stafford) is as formidable as ever, and so is Aaron Donald.”

Sure, the 49ers didn't execute flawlessly on both offense and defense. Still, their ability to win the turnover battle allowed them to establish a lead in the second half.

Here, we will dissect four reasons for concern for the San Francisco 49ers, despite their victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

1. Performance of Brock Purdy

It might be overly critical and inaccurate to label Brock Purdy as underperforming. After all, Purdy did everything necessary for the 49ers to secure another win in Week 2. It could also be argued that he should be recognized as a standout player.

In his second game of the 2023 NFL season, Purdy threw for 206 yards, completing 17 of 25 passes, and added a rushing touchdown without any interceptions. Nevertheless, Purdy missed a few throws downfield that warrant mention, indicating room for improvement.

Purdy had several opportunities to connect with wide receivers on deep passes but failed to do so. He missed a potential touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel and failed to connect with Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.

Yes. Purdy's missed opportunities didn't hinder the 49ers from scoring 30 points. However, repeated errors in a tighter game against a stronger opponent could prove costly. While one mistake can be forgiven, a pattern of misses is a concern.

He effectively managed the game, in contrast to Matthew Stafford, who threw two interceptions that proved pivotal. Purdy didn't turn over the ball except for one fumble and led the 49ers to an impressive 30-point performance. However, for his first regular season game, he didn't throw a single touchdown pass and missed three wide-open deep passes, a concern that may need addressing in the future.

2. The Pass Rush

In spite of suffering two interceptions, Matthew Stafford appeared to be fairly at ease when facing the 49ers' defense on Sunday. Sure, the 49ers' secondary came through with critical plays. The defensive line, however, encountered difficulties in generating significant pressure during Week 2.

Drake Jackson, who had an exceptional performance with three sacks in Week 1 against the Steelers, was limited to a lone tackle. Nick Bosa, meanwhile, managed two tackles and a couple of hits on the opposing quarterback. Despite his impressive tally of 18.5 sacks in 2022, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year has yet to register a sack in the first two games of this season.

Their efforts did apply pressure but didn't yield any sacks. This allowed Stafford to perform effectively in the initial half of the game. In the second half, the 49ers resorted to blitzing and sending extra rushers to disrupt Stafford, a strategy that ultimately proved successful. However, this approach diverges from the 49ers' preferred defensive style. They invest significantly in their defensive linemen precisely to avoid relying on blitzes. Notably, Nick Bosa has failed to secure a single sack in the first two games, despite his offseason holdout. The team will be counting on him to make an impact as the season progresses.

3. George Kittle's Slow Start

In Sunday's win over the Rams, George Kittle caught all three of his targets for a total of 30 yards. This marks the second consecutive week where Kittle has been limited to three receptions and failed to secure a touchdown. In 2022, he faced a similar slow start after returning from a groin injury but eventually improved as the season progressed. Let's see if this slow start will eventually see a turnaround as the weeks go by.

4. Center Performance

Facing off against Rams' defensive tackle Aaron Donald is challenging, but yielding multiple times to other Rams defensive linemen is less than ideal. The 49ers encountered too much pressure up the middle on Sunday, with Jake Brendel sharing a portion of the responsibility. Coupled with two mishandled snaps, it was a tough outing for the Niners' center.

Looking Ahead

Although the San Francisco 49ers clinched a hard-fought victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season, there are still several areas of concern that have emerged from this game. To compete with the league's top teams and make a deep playoff run, the 49ers will need to address these issues.