Quick take: 49ers (2-0) vs. Steelers (2-0)

Last meeting In Week 11 of the 2003 season, the 49ers beat the visiting Steelers, 30-14. San Francisco QB Tim Rattay threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

Streaks The 49ers have won four of the last five and lead the overall series 10-8.

Last week The Steelers dominated in their 26-3 win over an emotionally drained Bills team. The determined Niners sacked St. Louis Rams QB Marc Bulger six times and used a late 40-yard field goal to earn the victory.

At stake The gritty Niners aim to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998. First-year Steelers coach Mike Tomlin could match predeccessor Bill Cowher's 3-0 rookie start and put Pittsburgh alone at the top of the AFC North.

Key matchup San Francisco RB Frank Gore danced into the end zone in the third quarter last week after a spectacular 43-yard run. This week he'll be up against a much stingier run defense, as the Steelers, led by LB James Farrior, have allowed only 74 yards per game to start the season (Gore picked up 81 last week against the Rams) and rank fifth in the league against the rush.

SAN FRANCISCO: TE Billy Bajema (ankle), S Dashon Goldson (elbow), CB Marcus Hudson (quad), CB Shawntae Spencer (elbow). PITTSBURGH: LB Victor Cooper (hamstring)

Did you know? Niners QB Alex Smith has six touchdown passes in his past three contests vs. AFC opponents, while Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 10-1 as starter vs. NFC teams.

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