Going to go ahead and do the initial recap with just the play-by-play of the fourth quarter, and then some bullet points after the jump. If you want to discuss the other games going on, please use the other thread designated for it. The Lions begin the fourth quarter in the middle of a big drive, in the 49ers zone. Patrick Willis makes a huge play to breakup a pass to Brandon Pettigrew, but Dashon Goldson is called for delay of game when he kicks the football, and the Lions end up with a first down after that. Then it's Nate Burelson over the middle who catches a touchdown, but it looks like he loses control of the ball after stepping out of bounds. I'd say it's incomplete, but Jim Schwartz challenges it, and they overturn it. The Lions take a four-point lead after a failed two-point conversion.
So the 49ers take the field, and Alex Smith hits Michael Crabtree for 11-yards, stepping up in the pocket like a boss. An end-around from Kendall Hunter to Ted Ginn Jr followed, and it goes for a first down. Unfortunately, the drive stalls out and the 49ers have to punt, but Andy Lee gets it inside the ten-yard line again.
Naturally, the 49ers safeties take this opportunity to showcase the worse tackles of their careers, and Calvin Johnson gains 41 yards right out of the gate. Fortunately, the 49ers come up with some big plays and force the Lions to punt without them gaining another first down.
The 49ers come out and Alex Smith throws another high pass to Michael Crabtree that is incomplete, and I'm too angry to see the next plays that lead to a punt. 49ers get called on their 15th penalty on the punt, Chris Culliver ran out of bounds on his own. Fortunately, Aldon Smith gets a sack and forced fumble, the Lions recover but they end up with a 2nd-and-28. Then a 3rd-and-25, and they pick up some yardage, but will have to punt it away.
Ted Ginn Jr. has a huge punt return and they go across midfield. Kendall Hunter picks up nine yards, and then Gore gets the first. Then it's Hunter who gets big yardage again, and Frank Gore gets another first down. 1st and goal for the 49ers. The Lions stuff it for a loss of yards, the first-down run, that is. Crabtree catches a screen pass and gets a couple yards, but it's third-and-goal from the six-yard line. Incomplete pass as the Lions DE comes unblocked and hits Smith. Then it's Delanie Walker, over the middle with a slant, and it's a touchdown. But the referees spend plenty of time looking at it, questioning whether his knee was down. It's called a touchdown so there will have to be inconclusive proof otherwise, but there is none. They confirm it, it's a touchdown. An Akers extra point puts them up three with 1:51 remaining and the Lions have three timeouts.
Detroit gets five yards on first down, then throw incomplete when Stafford is hit on second down. Then incomplete on third down with great coverage by NaVorro Bowman. Then another incomplete on fourth down and the 49ers take over with 1:16 to go.
They run it twice and the Lions call timeouts. Still third and long. The Lions use their final timeout. David Akers takes the field looking for a field goal to put the team up six. It's good, and the 49ers lead 25-19. The 49ers get a sack on the first down. Then they give up a good amount of yards on second, but it's still well short. The Lions aren't moving fast at all, and it's six seconds remaining on 4th and 10. Boom. 49ers win.
- That Brandon Pettigrew touchdown was weapons grade garbage. For one, most of the beat writers agree that he didn't secure the catch and that it should have been incomplete. More so, the initial ruling on the field was that it was incomplete. Then, another referee over-rules it, calls it a touchdown, and ten seconds later they're kicking the extra point. The commentary did droned on and on about how Jim Harbaugh isn't allowed to challenge because the play is already reviewed, but I ask you ... how was it reviewed if only ten seconds elapsed? I'll tell you: it wasn't reviewed.
- Outside of that, there was a garbage pass interference call on the 49ers. Carlos Rogers on Nate Burelson, they were making a play for the ball and the referees call the PI.
- In keeping with the garbage calls, Isaas Sopoaga didn't pull the guy's helmet off. At all. They called it because a guy's helmet came off, because that's what the league has told them to do. Simple as that. Trash, that one.
- Michael Crabtree had a good day, he looks good out there, he will be a solid number two receiver. Alex Smith also didn't seem to throw passes to him ten feet in the air. I do not like how he handles himself after the catch though, he should be much more evasive. It's what he did in college, and that kind of thing should translate to the NFL, since it's not predicated on gimmick college routes, etc.
- Donte Whitner looked really good today. He looked fast and tuned in, and I love his burst and ability to get in the backfield, it was almost Troy Polamalu esque.
- Was the commentary team absolutely pissed off when the Lions got called for their penalties, or what? They were livid when they got called on the horsecollar tackle.
- Brett Swain didn't see the field much at all.
- We saw our first bad game out of Bruce Miller, who looked bad in pass protection, run blocking and also had a penalty.