I want to begin by telling you what this article is not about—the Detroit Lions.
This article is not about Kevin Smith’s 53 yards on 16 attempts, nor his 3.3 yards per carry.
This article is not about Nate Burleson’s single catch, Titus Young’s single catch, nor Tony Scheffler’s single catch for what is supposed to be a potent Lions passing attack.
This article is not about Matthew Stafford, who was well under 200 yards passing with one interception and no touchdowns prior to the Lions' final drive in the fourth quarter.
This article is not about Stafford’s 11-yard scramble, which happened to be Detroit’s longest run of the game.
This article is not about Detroit’s eight penalties for 67 yards.
This article is not about Detroit’s inability to make defensive stops on third downs.
This article is not about Lions receivers who endlessly ran routes two yards short of the first-down marker on third downs.
This article is not about Jason Hanson kicking two field goals off the woodwork, one of which was lucky enough to sneak through for three points.
This article is not about the Lions starting three defensive backs who were cut earlier this season by other teams.
This article could be about Calvin Johnson’s eight catches for 94 yards, which was the only bright spot in the Lions 27-19 loss Sunday night in San Francisco, but it’s not.
This article is not about the Detroit Lions at all. In fact, the only way to show this game justice is if it were summed up in a simple way.
The San Francisco 49ers look to be the most complete, well-coached, well-balanced team in the entire NFL.
It has been said that the NFC North is the toughest division in football. Well, the 49ers just made the top two teams in that division look like division doormats.
For a game that is won in the trenches, San Francisco was dominant on both sides of the ball against Detroit. On defense, you didn’t see many complicated stunts or blitzes. The players simply stayed in their lanes and made plays (or didn’t allow Detroit to make plays).
The 49ers constantly held two deep safeties, not allowing Megatron the opportunity to beat them deep.
On the offensive side of the ball, San Fran’s linemen had their way with Suh, Fairley and company. Sure, they gave up three sacks, but this is the beauty of Alex Smith’s mentality. He will gladly take a sack rather than make an inherent throw that results in a turnover (he’s now thrown 216 straight passes without a pick).
The final score of this game was 27-19, but it never seemed that close. If there is one thing that the Lions can hang their hat on it’s the fact that they lost to (arguably) the best team in the NFL on their home field and were not embarrassed.
Lions fans surely hope that hanging these types of hats don’t become a habit.