The San Francisco 49ers open their season at home in week two against the Detroit Lions. Both teams are coming off losses but the 49ers defeat was nowhere near as embarassing as how the Lions lost to the New York Jets.
For San Francisco, they faced the Minnesota Vikings on the road last week. Injuries to Marquise Goodwin and two right guards, drops and too many turnovers essentially sealed their fate against the number one defense. Dante Pettis had an incredible touchdown grab in the back of the end zone. Fred Warner also played at a high level in his debut game as a starter in place of Reuben Foster. Richard Sherman played solid in his first game back since his Achilles injury. The 49ers would lose 24-16.
For the Lions, they lost hard at home to the Jets. The Jets would win 48-17, scoring a whopping 31 points in the third quarter. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions, the run game was invisible, and their defense was horrific. That all benefits the 49ers who are definitely upset at their week one loss.
After a quad injury knocked him out of the game early against Minnesota, receiver Marquise Goodwin was ruled OUT for week two a few days ago. That means that receivers like Dante Pettis and Trent Taylor will be in for more opportunities this week as well as Pierre Garcon who didn’t have the best of games last week. Pettis certainly made his mark but did have a drop in the end zone that prevented him from having an even better game. Kendrick Bourne will definitely need to improve after he was responsible for a pick last week when he ran the wrong route. Let’s see how San Francisco uses their receivers to exploit that Lions defense who struggled mightily last week.
Boy, was second-year tight end George Kittle phenomenal last week or what? Excluding a massive drop that could’ve led to a game-changing touchdown, Kittle caught five passes for 90 yards and was a security blanket for Jimmy Garoppolo for most of the game. Kittle is a prime candidate to break out this season and could be in for another week of lots of targets and yards against that Lions secondary.
The defense played very well given the circumstances and gave the ball back to the offense when they really needed to step up in that fourth quarter. Fred Warner and Elijah Lee will most likely be the starting linebackers since Malcolm Smith hasn’t been healthy and because Brock Coyle was placed on injured reserve (but still is eligible to return). Fred Warner was the best defensive player last week but don’t count out DeForest Buckner, who accounted for 2.5 sacks last week. Last season, his sack total was three. Solomon Thomas will have to bounce back after a bad game. The cornerbacks really need to start looking back at the ball when it is thrown in the air. It’s the main reason the Vikings scored their first touchdown to Stefon Diggs, because Ahkello Witherspoon failed to turn his head around and possibly break up the play.
I expect the 49ers to bounce back as a whole and win this game for their home opener.
Prediction: 49ers 34, Lions 17