Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked five times Sunday, and his running backs couldn’t find any holes.
In the end, it turned into a frustrating afternoon for Stafford and the Lions, who lost 25-19 to the 49ers on their own field after beginning the season 5-0.
Stafford had seen up close and personal what the rest of the league is beginning to see in the Niners.
“They have a good defense,” he said.
On Sunday, the 49ers defense looked fast, aggressive and athletic in stopping the Lions running game, putting pressure on Stafford and holding star receiver Calvin Johnson without a touchdown in a game for the first time this year.
Linebackers Patrick Willis (seven tackles, three passes defended), NaVorro Bowman (game-high 13 tackles), rookie Aldon Smith (two sacks and a safety) were all over the field. Defensive tackle Justin Smith had seven tackles and 1½ sacks, and rookie corner Chris Culliver came up big in helping blanket Johnson.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was effusiv...