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49ers barely escape with first win of the season

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Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

The San Francisco 49ers got their first win of the season in Week 2, beating the Detroit Lions by a final score of 30-27. To say the 49ers got lucky is an understatement. Luck involves taking advantage of opportunity, but the Lions made a whole bunch of unforced errors, and it was enough to get the 49ers a win.

It was not a pretty game, but the 49ers did enough to get the victory (and got enough help from the Lions). On offense, Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked five six times as his receivers struggled getting open. A week ago, Garoppolo threw three interceptions, and this week seemed like the exact opposite. He did not want to make any mistakes, and so he took the sacks instead. Of course, he also completed 17 of 25 passes for two touchdowns and made some solid throws. But pocket presence and awareness are still issues to consider. He was bailed out near the end of the game when he threw an interception that was brought back thanks to defensive holding.

The star on offense was Matt Breida. He rushed 11 times for 138 yards and a touchdown, and added 21 receiving yards. The run total was goosed by a 66-yard run that saw Breida do great work following Pierre Garçon’s blocking all the way down for a touchdown.

The defense held on late, but it was a dumpster fire against the pass. The pass rush could not get consistent pressure against a bad offensive line, and the secondary outside of Richard Sherman was atrocious both in coverage and in tackling. The Lions simply ignored Sherman’s side, instead picking on Ahkello Witherspoon all afternoon. It resulted in Witherspoon getting benched in the fourth quarter for Jimmie Ward. The 49ers secondary got lucky in Week 2 as Stafford was regularly overthrowing his receivers deep down the field.

The 49ers are now 1-1, and this game is all the proof you need that a win is a win is a win. I don’t want to take away from the positives, because the 49ers got some big performances in the win. But man, they have a lot of work to do.

Up next: @ Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

It only gets more difficult in Week 3, as the 49ers travel to face the ridiculously hot Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes set the record for most touchdown passes in his first three games, and that offense is putting up absurd numbers. The 49ers pass rush and secondary have a huge test in front of them, although the defense does welcome back Reuben Foster from his two-game suspension.

On the other side of the ball, the 49ers face a porous Chiefs defense. Jimmy Garoppolo struggled with turnovers in Week 1, but then found himself taking more sacks in Week 2 thanks to strong Lions coverage. Garoppolo needs to figure out the happy medium.