SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — After four losing seasons, 49ers fans’ hope, confidence and swagger are as high as they have been since the team’s dominant run at the start of the decade.
The Niners took the field Sunday with a 2-0 record in the team’s 2019 season home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Longtime 49er Fan Mark Castanon spoke about the positive vibe of the tailgate parties.
“We’re overexcited, but I think it’s reality. We’re gonna be there, and playoffs here we come,” said Castanon.
The Steelers’ diminished offense, with the absence of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out for the season with an elbow injury, faced off against a dominant 49ers defense. Expectations have buoyed early playoff dreams for the red and gold.
But former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats, who was among a large contingent of the tailgating Pittsburgh fans at Levi’s stadium, cautioned Niner fans before the game.
“They played two teams that haven’t been the most successful historically, in terms of the Buccaneers and the Bengals. So, keep the expectations reserved. Keep it cautious, because they haven’t really showed they can be yet,” said Moats.
“You know what, they’re not lying. They were the bottom five teams of the league. But, away wins are still away victories. That’s 2-0. All we gotta go in now, is 7 and 7. That’s a 9-7 season,” said 49er fan Peter Ngo. “We’re looking pretty good. No one wants to play our defense right now.”
In the end, the Niners overcame five turnovers to win 24-20, boosting the team to a 3-0 start on the season.