49ers defeat Lions

FUMBLE!!! That is how the 49ers first offensive series started. Mark Sanchez must have had a flashback to his infamous butt fumble as he watched and provided commentary on Jimmy G mishandling the first snap of the season. On the Niners second defensive possession Al-Shaair makes a critical stop to force a long field goal that the Lions eventually missed. 49ers take the ball down a short field inside the red-zone and trot out Trey Lance. One Pass. One Touchdown. How is that for a rookie debut! Jimmy G was legitimately ecstatic for his teammate. Lance to Sherfield is a combo to look forward to in the future. This is how the game started.

At one point in the game, Jimmy Garoppolo was 7 for 7 and 104 yards. He had an outstanding day finishing 17/25 for 314 yards and a touchdown. Deebo Samuel was his favorite target who caught 9 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. He also fumbled his last catch of the day. Up 24 points, 49ers took Ward, Tartt, Warner and Greenlaw off the field fearing more injuries after Verrett went down. This enabled the Lions to score not one but two touch downs because George Kittle muffed the onside kick. Who knew the Lions would convert both 2-point conversions? In a flash the Lions scored 16 points cutting the 49ers lead to 8. The score is 41 to 33. Its 3rd and 10 yards to go. Jimmy G throws a dart to Samuel who gets the first down and as he fights for more yards the ball is punched out by Trey Flowers. The 49er and their fans all held their collective breath at that moment. Detroit had 52 seconds to work with. The 49ers rolled their starters back out there and commenced to smacking the Lions around like they had done most of the game. The game ended when ex-ram Samson Ebukam rushed ex-ram Goff into an errant throw on 4th down.

The first notes I took of the game were Javon Kinlaw an Emmanuel Mosley were inactive. Small wonder the 49ers interior defensive line was repeatedly gashed by Jamaal Williams opening the pass game up, mostly against D. Lenoir. Despite missing two key starters on defense, the 49ers held the Lions to 17 points until there was only about 4 minutes left in the game. Al-Shaair had several key tackles at critical moments in the game. Warner played at his usual pro-bowl level. Dre Greenlaw snatched a pick six to really set the Lions on their heels. Street secured the first sack of the game while bookends Bosa and Ford also secured sacks. They could have sacked Goff more but for all the missed holding calls. The defensive line was on a rotation. This allowed fresh legs to consistently put pressure on Goff. They lived in the Lions back field. However, this aggressiveness was burned several times by counters, traps and a great screen pass to Swift who scampered for 43 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers have some improvements to make on defense, but all in all it was a solid performance against an offense they had no film on. The possibility of losing Jason Verrett for the season stings. One hopes Josh Norman can fill the void.

Rookies scored the first two touchdowns of the day for the 49ers. We already discussed Trey Lance. After Raheem Mostert was sidelined with a knee injury, Elijah Mitchell took over. The former Cajun ran for 104 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL game. He showed he belonged. As I think about Mitchell’s performance it occurred to me that Bobby Turner is an invaluable coach and scout for the 49ers. He lobbied for Hasty and Mitchell to be picked up and to make this team. He has is now enjoying the fruits of his labors as he continues to coach these two young players to greatness.

There is work yet to do for the 49ers. They allowed too many points. They left points on the field. You learn by your losses and the 49ers lost some possessions today. There is some great game film to watch and learn from. Eagles are next! For now, the 49ers are undefeated!

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