The Detroit Lions fell to 0-2 on the season, and in true Lions fashion, it ended with some controversy. Let’s get into it.
The Detroit Lions started the game on offense and built a little bit of confidence on the ground, gaining a couple of first downs before getting to midfield. There the drive stalled when Kerryon Johnson came up 2 yards short on third-and-3.
The 49ers responded quickly with a 28-yard run. Then a 35-yard pass to Dante Pettis. However, when the Niners got into the red zone, the Lions defense stepped up with back-to-back sacks, forcing a short field goal, in which Robbie Gould promptly made. 3-0 49ers.
But the Lions offense finally showed some life early in the game. Kenny Golladay continues to be the working force behind the Lions offense, and he capped a 69-yard touchdown with this catch:
30-yard catch.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 16, 2018
Beauty from @kgxix. pic.twitter.com/SMUty6J0c3
Kyle Shanahan’s offense continued to move the ball efficiently against Matt Patricia’s defense as the game moved to the second quarter. The Lions only managed to force two third downs (a third-and-1 and third-and-2), as the Niners quickly scored on a broken coverage play. 49ers 10, Lions 7.
.@BournePoly11 was wide open!— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018
: FOX #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/677rlbiTgF
From there the offenses slowed down a bit. The Lions went three-and-out, but then they forced a punt thanks to a huge tackle for loss from rookie defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.
But on the ensuing drive, Matthew Stafford made another grave mistake. Facing a third-and-3, Stafford couldn’t find an open receiver. Instead of throwing the ball away, he tried to extend the play and was too careless with the ball, fumbling it away and giving the 49ers the ball in the red zone. Thankfully, the Lions defense held strong and San Francisco had to add a field goal. 13-7 49ers.
The Lions offense continued to be stuck in neutral, especially in third-and-short situations. However, the defense forced a three-and-out late in the second quarter, giving the Lions time for a
two-minute, one-minute drive (thanks to some poor clock management from Patricia). Stafford drove the Lions into the red zone, but couldn’t punch it in, and the Lions settled for a chip-shot field goal. 13-10 49ers.
The Lions special teams remained cursed in the third quarter as the 49ers took the opening kickoff for a touchdown. A facemask penalty took the points off the board, but San Francisco still started with the ball inside the Lions’ 30-yard line. A few plays later, Jimmy Garoppolo found Garrett Celek for an 11-yard score. 20-10 49ers.
The Lions got a kick start with a good return of their own, as Jamal Agnew got the Lions to midfield. From there, the Lions rushed their way into the red zone, but back-to-back holding penalties drove the Lions back. Conservative play-calling mixed with checkdowns led to another field goal. 20-13 49ers.
The Lions defense won a Pyrrhic victory on the next drive, forcing a punt, but losing Darius Slay to a concussion. The Lions defense got to midfield, but again failed on a third down. A nice Sam Martin pinned the 49ers deep, but it wouldn’t end up mattering, because...
The Lions defense couldn’t stop the run, and Matt Breida went 66-yards to push the score to two possessions. 27-13 49ers
Matt Breida takes the stretch play to the house pic.twitter.com/sWGA9E2J5y— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 16, 2018
We’re bullet-pointing again:
- Lions’ three-and-out
- 49ers field goal. 30-17 49ers.
- Matthew Stafford connects with Golden Tate on a 67-yard play. Marvin Jones Jr. finished the drive with a touchdown. 30-20 49ers.
- Defense holds for a three-and-out
- Agnew punt return TD called back due to two block in the back penalties
- Lions drive down field, as Stafford hits *checks notes* MICHAEL ROBERTS???? 30-27 49ers.
And that’s where the controversy started. The Lions defense had one chance for a stop and a third-and-2, and Tracy Walker stepped in front of a Jimmy Garoppolo pass and nearly took it to the house. Unfortunately a holding penalty on Quandre Diggs negated the interception and the 49ers got an automatic first down.
Was it the right call? It didn’t seem like a lot, but Diggs did get his hands on George Kittle.
The 49ers ended up running out most of the clock and while the Lions got one more opportunity to score, they fell short after a couple key drops from Theo Riddick.
It’s gameday and the Detroit Lions are back in action this week in the hopes of putting Week 1 far, far behind them. It’s was a suspicious way for the Matt Patricia era to begin, but as ugly as it was, it was only one game. Patricia’s head coaching career will not be defined simply by a opening egg.
The Lions will be without starting guard T.J. Land and the San Francisco 49ers will be without their starting (and backup) guards as well. The good news for Detroit is that it looks like a couple other key players going through injuries will be good to go. According to Ian Rapoport, both running back LeGarrette Blount and edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah are expected to play Sunday afternoon, despite both being questionable on the injury report.
With the Lions chilling on the west coast, we won’t get to see them until the 4 p.m. ET spot. Here’s how to catch them, as Week 2 kicks off.
How to watch Lions vs. 49ers
Date: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Kickoff time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 2 TV map: Click here
Announcers: Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst), Shannon Spake (sideline reporter)
Online streaming: Fox Sports Go
National radio: Sports USA Media (Bob Fitzgerald Hank Bauer)
Local radio: WJR-AM NEWS TALK 760 (Dan Miller, Lomas Brown)
Line: 49ers by 7