San Francisco 49ers: Final Thoughts Before Detroit Lions Matchup
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Handshakes, foot stomps, drug suspensions—these developments do not represent the final thoughts before the San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions matchup.
Rather, this game pits two quarterbacks aspiring to reach the next echelon of QB classifications, a 49ers offense and Lions defense aiming to substantiate their credibility and respective teams looking to show that last season’s success was no fluke.
Alex Smith took the proverbial “next step” in a literal sense last week against the Packers.
He was 20-of-26 for 211 yards, two touchdowns and a rating of 125.6. He continued his mistake-free play in impressive fashion against the 15-1 Packers of 2011 on their home turf.
Smith now faces a Lions defense decimated by injuries in the secondary (via Yahoo! Sports). Cornerback Bill Bentley is out with a concussion, safety Louis Delmas has a knee and CB Chris Houston will miss Sunday’s game with an ankle.
The 49ers quarterback is surely salivating at the prospect of utilizing his assortment of weapons against such a depleted unit.
Furthermore, said weapons in the form of veterans Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis have the opportunity of exploiting those mismatches against the backup defenders. They can—and will—capitalize on that opportunity and substantiate their credibility to those still skeptical about the 49ers offense.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford, for his part, wants his name in the elite grouping of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. His 5,000-yard effort of last season must be complimented by either a similar output or longer playoff campaign.
Who will emerge victorious in this Sunday night matchup?
For the Lions defense, they must prove that their corps is greater than individual losses. It’ll be a rather monumental task against such dynamic offensive threats for San Francisco.
Regarding the teams as a whole, the Lions must demonstrate that their 10-6 playoff-worthy campaign of 2011 wasn’t a fleeting measure of success. They would love nothing more than to play as if they’re not the third fiddle in the NFC North that most analysts believe them to be.
The 49ers also want to convey their legitimacy as a comprehensive unit beyond a dominant defense and opportunistic special teams. Alex Smith and Co. will have their eyes on the prize in that regard come Sunday evening. They’ll accomplish that with 30-plus points on the scoreboard.
As for the actual final thoughts for the 49ers vs. Lions game? Let’s go with score of 31-20 home team at game’s end.
It will indeed end as one of the premier matchups in Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season.
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