In Depth Game Review: Detroit Lions At San Francisco 49ers

Embed from Getty Images

Reflecting On The Detroit Lions Failed Comeback Attempt Last Sunday. 

First Quarter

The Detroit Lions opened this game with possession of the football but was unable to convert on a third and three when they attempted a run with rookie running back, Kerryon Johnson, netting one yard.

On the ensuing drive, San Francisco marched right down the field thanks to a 28 yard run by running back Matt Breida and a 35-yard pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis. The Lion defense tightened up in the red zone though, holding San Francisco to a field goal.

The Lions were able to answer with a strong offensive possession, featuring a 10-yard Theo Riddick reception, 12-yard LeGarrette Blount rush, and a 12-yard Marvin Jones catch. This culminated in Matthew Stafford finding Kenny Golladay wide open for a 30-yard touchdown pass.

Score: Detroit Lions lead 7-3

Second Quarter

San Francisco followed up the Detroit touchdown with a very strong 13-play 88-yard drive. Garoppolo led the 49ers to the 4-yard line, where he threw a wide open touchdown pass to second-year receiver Kendrick Bourne.

The next score came after a Lions mistake when Stafford held the ball for too long and was sacked and stripped of the football. The 49ers took advantage of this turnover and were able to score a field goal to go up 10.

Right before the half, Detroit was somewhat able to atone of this mistake with a field goal, cutting the deficit to three points.

Score: 49ers lead 13-10

Third Quarter

A big kick off return by DJ Reed set the 49ers up in fantastic field position to start the third, all the way to the Lion 26 yard line. They needed just four plays to cross the goal line on an 11-yard reception by backup tight end Garrett Celek.

The Lions were able to drive all the way to the 49er 18-yard line on the next drive, but two consecutive holding penalties derailed the drive and they had to settle for a field goal, making it a seven-point game.

Later in the quarter, San Francisco had a three play, 97-yard drive when Garoppolo hit an 11-yard pass, the Matt Breida had runs of 20 then 66 yards, the latter ending with the 49ers celebrating in the end zone.

Score: 49ers lead 27-13

Fourth Quarter

San Fransico put up another field goal early in the 4th quarter, making the score 30-13. At this point, things seemed extremely dismal for the Lions.

It was then that the Detroit offense suddenly came to life. Matthew Stafford connected with Golden Tate for a 67-yard pass to convert a third and 17, then he found Marvin Jones in the end zone from five yards out.

After getting a defensive stop, the Lions again marched down the field. They converted another massive third down when Stafford found tight end Michael Roberts in the end zone from 15 yards out on third and goal.

The Lions got the ball back, with only 53 seconds left and no timeouts at their 16-yard line. Needing a field goal to tie the game, they were only able to pick up one first down before the offense stalled and turned to ball over on fourth down.

Score: 49ers win 30-27

Key Stats

San Francisco Ran For 190 Yards At 6.8 Yards Per Carry

The 49er rushing attack was unstoppable on Sunday. Matt Breida ran for 138 yards, while Alfred Morris ran for another 48. Detroit’s defensive linemen and linebackers need to figure out their issues defending the run, or the won’t be able to stop anybody. Two not particularly great running backs (Isaiah Crowell and Matt Breida) have run for more than 100 yards at more than 10 yards per carry in each of the Lions first to games.

Jimmy Garoppolo Had A 118.4 Quarterback Rating

Garoppolo had a very efficient game, completing 18/26 (69%) of his passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Detroit’s secondary has a lot of holes for Garoppolo to throw in to, so the Lions cornerbacks will really need to tighten things up going forward.

The Detroit Lions Defense Recorded 6 Sacks

Rookie head coach Matt Patricia did a great job of scheming a pass rush in this game, resulting in six Lions sacks. Linebackers Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard each had two sacks, all without star defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

The Lions Averaged 5.4 Yards Per Rush

While the Lions still haven’t broken their historic streak of games without a 100-yard rusher, the running game was more productive on Sunday. Kerryon Johnson ran for 43 yards on eight carries and LeGarrette Blount ran for 38 yards, also on eight carries.

Plays Of The Game

Matt Breida’s 66 Yard Touchdown Run

Golden Tate’s 67 Yard Reception

The Lions Fail To Convert On 4th Down

Lions Player Of The Game

Jarrad Davis is this weeks Lions player of the game. After looking atrocious in week one, Davis bounced back in a big way. He still missed a few tackles, but tied for the team lead with six tackles, sacked Jimmy Garoppolo twice, and had another quarterback hit. His pass coverage is still far from perfect, but that aspect of his game seemed to be somewhat improved over last week and the preseason.

Embed from Getty Images

If Davis can carry this momentum forward, he could become the player Detroit envisioned when they drafted him in the first round of the 2017 draft. He has been a very disappointing player so far in his NFL career, but he is still young and just had his best game in a Lions uniform.

Thanks for reading! For more Lions content, follow me on Twitter @Lucas_Walker00 and don’t forget to pay a visit to the Detroit Lions Subreddit!

More From The Detroit Lions Podcast