Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 9/16/12

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the football against the Washington Redskins at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Redskins 19-14. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

A week after taking down the Packers, the San Francisco 49ers welcome the Detroit Lions to the Bay Area.

The Lions also won their opener, over St. Louis, but it was a struggle for Matt Stafford and the Lions. Stafford threw three interceptions last week compared to zero by Alex Smith, though it is, of course, foolish to form judgements after one week of football.

This game is a rematch from last season when the 49ers defeated the Lions 25-19. The game is remembered for the post-game handshake, which saw Jim Harbaugh be a bit overly aggressive towards Jim Schwartz, who then ran after Harbaugh to cause an unnecessary issue.

 

The focus will surely be on midfield following this game.

Detroit Lions

A last-second touchdown pass from Matt Stafford to Kevin Smith gave the Lions a win over the Rams in Week 1. This week will be a much tougher task for Stafford and the Lions as the 49ers have one of the top defenses in the entire league.

Stafford will be relied on to produce through the passing game considering the 49ers only allowed 45 rushing yards to the Packers last week. Green Bay is not known for their rushing attack, but the fact that Cedric Benson only rushed for 18 yards can be traced back to the stout defense of the 49ers.

Stafford will be helped by his receivers, who are always reliable. Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 111 yards last week, while Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson combined for another 11 catches for 146 yards. These three will be key this week in San Francisco, with Pettigrew being the most important of the three.

Calvin Johnson will get his share of receptions, but he will be drawing extra help from the San Francisco secondary. Pettigrew will be working the middle of the field and can find some openings with the extra attention being drawn to Johnson.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco began their season with a 30-22 win over the Packers last week. They are one of the presumed favorites to win the NFC this season, and they showed that last week.

Alex Smith went 20-26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns. His discipline at the quarterback position makes him so valuable. He only threw five interceptions all of last season, and his lack of turnovers makes the 49ers difficult to beat.

Alex Smith has become exactly the quarterback San Francisco needs since Jim Harbaugh took over last year.

Smith keeps his offense on the field, helped out by Frank Gore in the ground game. Gore ran for 112 yards on only sixteen carries last week, while Kendall Hunter added another 41 yards on nine carries. Gore is the main threat of the two, but Hunter adds another element to the 49ers’ running game that defenses must gameplan for.

A player to look for in the game is Randy Moss, who caught a touchdown pass in his return. With Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Mario Manningham to look after, defenses will have a tough time keeping track of Moss. He should consistently find openings, which Alex Smith will have to exploit.

Lions-49ers Prediction

The 49ers are the strong favorite in this game, but that does not mean that it will be a blowout. The Lions will keep it close throughout, but they will not be able to do enough to win the game in the end.

49ers 24 | Lions 17

*****

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
  • Lions-49ers Date: Sunday, September 16
  • Lions-49ers Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM
  • Lions-49ers TV Network: NBC
  • Lions-49ers Point Spread: 49ers -7
  • Lions-49ers Over-Under Odds: 47

The post Sunday Night Football: Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers Preview and Prediction appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


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