This Sunday night, the Lions will travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers.
No one gives the Lions a chance.
The offense is one-dimensional. Their secondary is weak. The defensive line is OK, but vastly overrated.
Really, the only chance Detroit has is to throw the ball until Matthew Stafford's arm falls off.
These stereotypes circulated since last year. The Lions have heard them all. But they've said nothing.
The 49ers came into Detroit in 2011 and survived the Lions. That's right. They didn't dominate. They didn't impose their will. They didn't even have a commanding lead.
The 49ers needed a miracle on 4th down to escape from Detroit with a win.
How did they respond?
People have dramatized how Jim Schwartz reacted to the postgame handshake. But everyone ignores the fact that the 49ers mocked the Lions in their own building.
The Lions didn't ignore it.
The nation has fallen in love with the new 49ers team. The media picked up where the 49ers left off and continued the mocking. The owner of the 49ers publicly joined in the mockery.
The Lions aren't ignoring that either.
Instead, they spent the last year preparing.
Oh, the Lions will say all the right things and act the right ways. They understand games are won and lost by players making plays. But publicly embarrassing or calling out anyone in the NFL is a lethal formula.
When the schedule came out, Detroit players circled this game. They practiced and prepared, but more to the point, they stewed over this for a year.
Last year, the 49ers came to Detroit and faced a young team on a winning streak that thought a little more of itself than it should have.
This year, a gritty team of hungry, bitter Lions comes to town.
If the defensive line is ever going to have a six-sack game, this is going to be the one.
If they have any defensive stunts or tricks, they're all coming out this game.
If there are any special offensive plans, you will see them Sunday night.
The Detroit Lions are going to come into San Francisco and score touchdowns. They know the defense the 49ers are going to roll with and, with that much time, they know how they want to exploit it.
The Lions aren't saying much. But they are going to embarrass that power offense. They are going to embarrass that vaunted defense. They are going to settle the score the right way, and it's going to be painful for San Francisco.
The Detroit's rage has been building. The 49ers are in their path. Hide the women and children.
This time, the Lions are coming for blood.
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