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49ers Vs. Lions: A Prospector's Guide

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The 49ers are back in action this Sunday as they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football. As I was going through the numerous tidbits in the game release, I was surprised to note that the 49ers currently are on an eight-game winning streak against the Lions, which also marks the longest such streak in the series. The 49ers last lost to the Lions on September 25, 1995. The eight-game winning streak has featured six games at Candlestick Park and two games in Detroit.

In going through potential pictures for this post, I had to go with this one of Justin Smith and Matthew Stafford. Smith had a strong game (does he have any other kind?) and was on Stafford quite a bit that day. Stafford put up some solid numbers on the day last year, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, he needed 50 pass attempts and only completed 56% of said attempts.

The game also saw Calvin Johnson haul in 113 yards receiving. However, this was the kind of bend but don't break that saw success as Johnson was held out of the end zone. Two of Johnson's catches were on drives that resulted in touchdowns, but Megatron was not a key aspect of those drives.

The San Francisco 49ers square off against the Detroit Lions in their 2012 home opener on NBC's "Sunday Night Football." The 49ers hold a 36-27-1 edge in the all-time series and have won each the previous 8 meetings.These two teams squared off last season, with the 49ers notching a 25-19 victory in Detroit.

Last week, the 49ers opened the season with a 30-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers. San Francisco rushed for 186 yards on the day, marking their highest rushing total on opening day since 1998.

The defense was paced by LB NaVorro Bowman who led the team with 11 tack- les and notched his first career interception. The 49ers defense held the Pack- ers to just 45 yards rushing and tallied 3.0 sacks.


  • 49ers head coach Jim harbaugh played quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens while Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was a defensive assistant with the Ravens in 1998.

  • 49ers secondary coach ed Donatell was the defensive backs coach at the University of Idaho while Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was a quarterback on the team in 1986.

  • 49ers tight ends coach reggie Davis was a tight end at the University of Washington while Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was on the Washington coaching staff from 1994-98.

  • 49ers running backs coach tom rathman was a running back with the L.A. Raiders in 1994 while Lions defensive coordinator Gunter Cunningham was on the Raiders coaching staff.

49ers-Michigan Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim harbaugh enjoyed a storied career at the University of Michigan from 1983-86, where he played for legendary coach Bo Schembechler and helped lead the Wolverines to 2 bowl appearances, garnering Big Ten Player of the Year honors.
  • 49ers running backs coach tom rathman was the running backs coach for the Detroit Lions from 2003-05.
  • 49ers wide receivers coach John Morton is from Rochester Hills, MI, and was a wide receiver at Western Michigan from 1991-92 and at Grand Rapids Community College prior to that in 1989-90.
  • 49ers C Jonathan goodwin and WR Mario Manningham were stand- outs at the University of Michigan.
  • 49ers LT Joe Staley is from Rockford, MI and attended Central Michigan
  • 49ers TE Garrett Celek and S Trenton Robinson attended Michigan State

Collegiate Connections

  • Buckeye Brothers - 49ers T alex Boone, WR ted ginn Jr. and S Donte Whitner played together at Ohio State with Lions G Rob Simms in 2005.
  • The Big House - 49ers C Jonathan Goodwin and T Jeff Backus were teammates at the University of Michigan from 1998-00.
  • Golden Knights - 49ers FB Bruce Miller and Lions RB Kevin Smith were teammates at UCF from 2006-07.
  • Cowboy Up - 49ers RB Kendall hunter and CB Perrish Cox played at Oklahoma State with Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew and CB Jacob Lacey from 2007-08.
  • Bayou Brothers - 49ers DT Ricky Jean Francois and Lions RB Keiland Williams were teammates at LSU from 2006-08.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 64
Series record: 49ers lead series: 36-27-1
49ers home record vs. Lions: 49ers lead series 22-10-1
First Meeting: 10/8/50, Lions win 24-7, at Det.
Last Meeting: 10/16/11, 49ers win 25-19, at Det.
Current Streak: Won 8
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 8 (12/23/96 - Present)
Longest Lions Win Streak: 6 (9/23/62 - 12/13/64)
Most 49ers Points: 55 (12/19/93): 55-17, at Det.
Most Lions Points: 48 (11/14/54): 48-7, at Det.
49ers Shutouts: 2 (Last 10/1/61), 49ers win 49-0, at Det.
Lions Shutouts: 1 (11/6/60), Lions win 24-0, at SF

2012 Statistics

49ERS (rank) LIONS (rank)
1-0 (t-1st NFCW) Record 1-0 (t-1st NFCN)
30.0 (t-9th) Points per game 27.0 (12th)
377.0 (12th) Total Offense 429.0 (5th)
186.0 (2nd) Rushing Offense 83.0 (t-19th)
191.0 (27th) Passing Offense 346.0 (1st)
33:00 (10th) Possession Avg 29:54 (17th)
22.0 (t-14th) Points allowed/gm 23.0 (t-16th)
324.0 (14th) Total Defense 251.0 (2nd)
45.0 (t-6th) Rushing Defense 78.0 (10th)
279.0 (22nd) Passing Defense 173.0 (4th)
3 (t-4th) Sacks 3 (t-4th)
51.2 (10th) Punting Avg (Gross) 40.3 (28th)
+1 (t-10th) Turnover Differential -3 (t-27th)