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W2W4: San Francisco 49ers

8/17/2014

The San Francisco 49ers (0-1) and Denver Broncos (1-0) play in the first game at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

Three things to watch:

The defense: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said his unit was “pushed around” last week at Baltimore. The 49ers started the game without seven starters. That essentially put the 49ers in a hole for the entire game. They were basically playing a unit behind the entire game. That may not change much this week. But the 49ers hope their young players take last week’s experience and respond. Key players to watch include defensive lineman Tank Carradine and rookie linebacker Chris Borland.

Joe Looney: Looney is starting at right guard in place of holdout Alex Boone. Looney has been solid in camp, but he struggled some against the Ravens. Boone’s holdout doesn’t seem close to ending. There is a chance Looney will have to play Week 1. The 49ers want to see him improve in game situations.

Carlos Hyde: The rookie running back was a star against the Ravens’ first team. The second-round pick from Ohio State had 39 yards on five carries against the Ravens. The fact is Hyde has been terrific since he has been drafted. He is looking like he will be a factor in the regular season. An impressive outing in this game will be another strong clue.