Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/17/12

The handshake provided no fanfare. The coaches, John Harbaugh and Jim Shwartz, provided pleasantries and exited the field.

The general result of San Francisco’s 27-19 win surprised no one. Yet, the dismantling of the Lions staggered a few.

The 49ers claimed supremacy of the NFL by wrecking two of the most prolific offenses in the league during consecutive weeks (surprise?). Here’s what we learned from this game:

1. The integrity of the league is at stake. Teams will continue to play and fans will continue to play, but the product is failing. Week 2 has been worse than the first with officials missing calls crucial to points being scored while watching flags fly and whistles scream with doubt. A better solution must be made at once.

2. The result of the game attests to the superiority of the San Francisco 49ers, not the diminishing talent of the Detroit Lions. Though they’re fighting the injury bug, the Lions will evoke fear from the rest of their schedule. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are a top QB-WR duo, while their defensive front four is also one of the best in the league.  

3. Until further notice, the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL. They held the Packers and Lions below projections; to the extent each team face the task of redeeming themselves. Sure, there are teams with better stats, but of the teams still undefeated, none faced two opponents like Green Bay and Detroit. Eventually, the stats will further substantiate how the Niner defensive unit performs on the field.

4. With New England taking a loss at home, the 49ers are unequivocally the best team in the NFL. Barring injuries and stupidity, they should finish the season at the top. Thankfully, Harbaugh is meticulous about his mentoring because when a team is approaching greatness as is this bunch, it is easy to fall in the trap of playing at the level of its competition. This test is on the way with a trip to Minnesota next week.

5. San Francisco has not reached its peak. The defense can play better. More pressure on opposing quarterbacks is necessary and they have a penchant for losing focus during a crucial play or two. The special team unit needs Ted Ginn Jr. to return from injury and the offense is still a work in progress. The unit is awaiting the return of Brandon Jacobs and we all wonder when Harbaugh will allow Alex Smith to make more attempts downfield especially with Randy Moss on the field. Time will tell.

As last night’s game transpired, no activity evolved as breaking news. What we learned from this game was more of a review than new knowledge. Nevertheless, fans are set to see what and which expectations will come to fruition.



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