Last week, I said the 49ers offense needed a flawless execution of offense if they were going to successfully pull off a win against Minnesota. Given the points they left on the field, it looks like that was the right assessment. If they could have played tighter and not made some crucial mistakes (the George Kittle drop comes to mind) they may have walked out of Minnesota with a win. Of course, the collapsed right side of the offensive line had something to do with things, but 49ers could not achieve perfection. You need that against a team like the Vikings.
Now the 49ers have the Lions. I can say with confidence the Lions are not the Vikings. After just one game where they lost to the New York Jets by 31 points, things are starting to get interesting with that locker room.
Fortunately, the 49ers offense isn’t the key in all of this, it’s the defense. The defense needs to get to Matthew Stafford. Here’s how the 49ers will win/lose.
The 49ers will win if
It’s a combination of two things; the 49ers pass rush will need to show up and it will need to get Matthew Stafford to hand the secondary a few interceptions. The Lions offensive line is nothing to write home about, giving up 47 sacks in 2017. Despite the sack totals, Matthew Stafford still managed 29 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and a 65.7 percent completion rate. The 49ers will need to send the pressure with DeForest Buckner, then the secondary needs to capitalize. The Lions have nothing much for a running game which can be easily contained by the new and improved 49ers defensive line.
The 49ers will lose if
Matthew Stafford has had fumbles and hits, but he also has an incredible completion percentage and low interception rate despite the fact his pockets broke down routinely. If the secondary cannot stay on receivers, the 49ers are in for a long day. Stafford is more than capable of getting the ball out before he goes down, and despite that he struggled against the Jets in Week 1, I’m not inclined to think he’s regressed just yet. The secondary needs to stay on their coverages and bat those passes away. If Stafford can complete those passes and get yardage. It’s all over.
What do you think will be the reasons the 49ers will win/lose?