49ers Week 1 matchup to watch: Reid vs. Olson

Bonta Hill break down the key battle of Niners-Panthers

Bonta Hill
September 10, 2017 - 12:28 pm

The matchup that has everyone chirping in the season-opener between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers is the potential showdown between Reuben Foster and Christian McCaffrey.

The two rookies are expected to be in the conversation for defensive and offensive rookie of the year. Yes, that’s a sexy matchup, one everyone including myself is looking forward to.

But the chess match between Panthers’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula and Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is an intriguing one. How will Saleh cover McCaffrey? How will the Niners defensive line contain Cam Newton?

Those are all legit questions, but the matchup of the day for me is safety Eric Reid playing in the box and covering Greg Olsen.

Reid has looked like an All-Pro this preseason, and in a contract year, he’s going to accept these type of assignments. Here’s an example of Reid exploding in space to make a tackle:

He’ll have his hands full with Newton’s favorite target. Olsen is one the best two-way tight end’s in football, capable of burning by a linebacker down the seam, or “mossing” a smaller defensive back. Or, he can do something like this.

Either way, this matchup will be pivotal in this game. If Reid can slow down Olsen, the Niners will be a prime position to upset the Panthers and win their seventh-consecutive season-opener.

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