Another big game tonight and another victory. After the way these two teams played last week, and with the current state of the Lions secondary, I have a hard time envisioning the scenario that has the 49ers losing. It's just not in the cards. Starting safety Louis Delmas and starting CB Chris Houston are both listed as doubtful on the injury report. Starting CB Bill Bentley has already been ruled out of the game as a result of the concussion he suffered last week. I'm seeing big things for Alex Smith and the passing game. The one thing that could slow this offensive juggernaut down would be if their defensive line, generally considered one of the best in the League, sets the tone by wreaking havoc against our sometimes suspect pass blocking. Getting to Alex Smith early and often is the only way to prevent our upgraded passing game from putting this game out of reach early, although you can never bet against Matthew Stafford in a shootout.
Which brings us to the other side of the ball. If Alex Smith were to be harried often, can the 49ers beat the Lions with their run game, strong defense and strong special teams play? That's exactly what we did last year, on the road in Detroit. That was an early start for us. Detroit is on the road in this one, and with the game in primetime, they will have to stay up past their collective bedtime if they want to pull this one out. I'll link to Fooch's article on the topic below. It appears that East Coast teams playing in primetime on the West Coast have the same difficulty as West Coast teams playing 10am starts on the East Coast.
Oh...and Happy Mexican Independence Day. Feliz Dia de la Independencia a los que les importa.
WEEK 2: LIONS at 49ERS
Here is a massive write-up from the good folks at Scout.com. It covers many topics, headlined by the budding rivalry brewing between the 49ers and Lions. How budding? Well, 1 game long. | Budding rivalry now a battle of top NFC teams. (Scout.com)
Expect Dashon Goldson to be helping out over the top quite a bit against Calvin Johnson during tonight's game. A play made here or there could make the difference. With good coverage, maybe we can get to Matthew "feet of stone" Stafford a bit. There's also a video preview embedded with the link. | 49ers key matchup No. 2: Goldson vs Stafford. (Maiocco)
This is a non-article but the video that accompanies it is good. It's mostly a breakdown of the Lions but it shows some plays where the Rams had a receiver open deep and Bradford made the right read but missed the throw. We should destroy the Lions secondary with all the weapons we have. | 49ers due for turnover vs Lions? (NFL.com)
49ers defense faces another tough test in Lions. (Press Democrat)
Keys to the game: 49ers / Lions. (Scout.com)
Handshake - final word. (Lynch)
49ers vs Lions: Enter Sandman? (Fucillo)
Mike Sando shows interception rates since the 49ers began their turnover-less streak that stretches over 6 games. Alex Smith is clearly on top, but who's on the bottom? The answer should not surprise a dedicated follower of the NFL. | Interception rates since 49ers' streak began. (Sando)
Did you know that last week's 16 carry, 112 yard, 1 TD performance by Frank Gore was his best season-opener since becoming a starter in 2006. It was the only time he's gone over 100 yards in an opener. There are a few stinkers in there as well. | Off to a running start: Gore's week 1 ranks No. 1. (Branch)
While I agree that Frank Gore looked great in week 1 and seems to be going strong, I don't agree that he's 30. He turns 30 next May. He had his 29th birthday a few months ago. He is 29. It just doesn't sound as old as 30 and it's hard to say a 29-year-old is ageless. | Ageless Frank Gore looks strong at 30. (SFGate)
What were our two biggest problems last season? Red zone conversion and 3rd down conversion. In week 1 the red zone play was great... 2/2. Third down....eehhyah, not so great. We went 2/9 which is 22%. Unacceptable really. Hopefully the first game was an anomaly. Coach Harbaugh noted that we completed 2 first downs with defensive penalties which would have brought us up to 4/11. There are other notes here as well. | 49ers third-down work still shaky. (Inman)
Niners rookies mostly behind the scenes. (ProFootballWeekly)
Tavares Gooden: Showstopper. (49ers.com)
NaVorro Bowman talks Packers, Lions, and handshakes. (ProFootballTalk)
Being a Sheep
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