And I'm not just saying that because the 49ers won. I wrote that slide headline when the Lions were leading by four.
This was, undeniably, a fantastic football game, played by a pair of tough football teams who could meet again in the playoffs. The storyline coming in was about two surprise teams trying to prove themselves as legitimate.
The mistake I made was in assuming that the winner would be considered the "legitimate" team. After watching this game, I'm convinced both teams are legit. But let's focus on the the 49ers, who should not only run away with the NFC West, but could be in the mix for a first-round bye.
I don't know exactly how this happened, but the 49ers' defense is far and away the toughest the Lions have had to face all season. Matthew Stafford was under pressure all day, Calvin Johnson failed to catch a touchdown for the first time all season, and the running game was its usual ineffective self.
The Lions' offensive line, on a related note, had their worst game of the season as well. Jeff Backus, in particular, came off decent games the Cowboys and Bears, only to have his lunch handed to him all day by Justin Smith.
All in all, the Lions just got beat. It doesn't mean they're done, by any means, and it doesn't mean the 49ers are far and away a better team. If these teams played each other 10 times, each team would likely win five.
But rather than get down on the Lions, give credit to the 49ers. They earned this win, and should earn many more as the season goes on.