Detroit Rock City, and the Suddenly Relevant Lions . . .

The City that Ford built, The Motor City, Motown, Hockeytown, The Murder City, the City that Civilization Forgot, Terrible Ted’s stomping grounds. Paris of the Midwest? Right. In the 1920s. Anyhow, the Niners make their second appeaerance at Ford Field since it opened in 2002. I guess you throw the recent record out, as the Niners have owned these guys for years now. Going all the way back to the 1983 playoffs where Eddie Murray missed a 43 yard FG as time ran out to give the 49ers the victory. A good friend of mine got married that day, and it was funny watching the dance floor empty out as everyone crowded around a TV somewhere in the house as Montana drove for the go-ahead score, and the Lions got into position to kick the FG.

Anyhow, is anyone really afraid of Deetroit? Yeah, they are 5-0. But the inept Bears had the lead on them at the half. This after 12 false starts in the first 3 drives. they’ve come back from some deficits, but they said the same thing about Tampa Bay. Suh is a beast, but one guy can be neutralized. Fairley looked average as the NT. Mergatroid is good as well, but double him, jam his ass at the line, and you can negate some of his impact as well. The toughest thing will be the crowd noise. They key? Like Tampa, get on top of them early. Take the crowd out of it. Stafford missed a bunch of passes throughout the whole game, and with another slow start, the Niners can get on top and pound the run late. Get some more playing time for Cappy.


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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41 Responses to Detroit Rock City, and the Suddenly Relevant Lions . . .

  1. twinfan1 says:

    Well, obviously it’s real loud there, it will severely test the O-line’s improvement with the pre-snap penalties. That’s a big pass rush- they cannot afford 3rd and long all day. But I admire your new found confidence, Chuck. I think it will be tight, with Gore and Hunter big factors in the checkdown, uh, passing game… 20-17 Niners

  2. unca_chuck says:

    I’m thinking more along the lines of 27-17 . . .

  3. twinfan1 says:

    “Wide receiver Brett Swain, a seventh-round pick of the Packers in 2008, signed a one-year contract with the 49ers today, according his agent, Bruce Tollner.”

  4. unca_chuck says:

    With a late garbage TD by Detroit.

  5. NinerDog says:

    Hey y’all my puter went down and I finally figgerd out how to use this smartphone, just like the right coach figgered out how to use Alex Smith (I am Shocked at his 6 quarters of high end play) in the WC offense as well as getting the Oline to jell somewhat, as well as putting in some DB’s who seem to know how to cover and tackle and keep rcvrs out of the endzone, not to mention putting Sop at nose and the pairing of Willis and Bowman ……all this goong on at light speed….way ahead of my learning curve on this smartphone

  6. NinerDog says:

    I am looking for the 49er’s to exploit the middle of the Lions D with the run, they can get to the edges too. The Lions committed quite a few penalties, 49er’s have not committed a lot in the past couple weeks. The new guy has a Super Bowl ring from last years Packers, he will be an asset on special teams right away, he ran some crisp routes and was said to accellerate out of his cuts showing strong legs and speed,he is familiar with the WC offense lingo and is familiar with how to execute it if he gets called upon to do so….he is 6′ 200lbs 28 yrs old. He is still hungry…maybe not a sexy pick but a pick that helps in different areas, after while he is said to be good coming out of the slot also, if needed. I feel the 49er’s have more weapons than the Lions.
    On Defense, I think the 49er’s will tame the Lions, Megatron may get some but he will be controlled, the front seven of the 49er’s will stop the run again, and then choke off the passing game with collecting some turnovers whether it be with QB sacks or INT’s. Suh will draw some attention but again, smart formations using Peele to help Davis or even just run right at him. This team is improving daily, and we will see some cryin lions on Sunday

  7. Berger says:

    The best thing Alex Smith ever did before this year was punk two coaches that needed punking. Nolan and Sing. The guy is no pussy. He doesn’t let you mess with him for long. At some point the truth is going to surface. Mess with him and it will be coming back to you.

  8. winder says:

    Pressure Stafford, limit the run game and we should be able to make them a one dimensional team. Besides Johnson they have a big time play maker in Pettigrew and we will need to account for him. Their D is gonna be the problem, our OL played a hell of a game last week and they will need to do it this week too. I think Hunter should get into the game a little more because when Forte got to the edge he made some good yards. We will probably need to keep VD home to block a little more than we want to but a lot of that will depend on play calling and how Alex is doing. It’s funny when people say that this game is a big test, when every game is a big test for us. Both the Lions and us are not used to winning and it should be a true battle. I think this one will come down to coaching.

  9. twinfan1 says:

    It was such a terrible game last night, it’s tough to judge Detroit. Problem with Calvin is as it was with Fitzgerald- he can be covered perfectly and still beat them. Need to get in Stafford’s face and force poor throws..

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Hey, Dog. Welcome back. I think Deetroit was a little too jazzed for their MNF appearance. They’ll probably play better this Sunday? I don’t really know. They have that same tag of starting slowly that TB did. The Niners have to take advantage of that.

    Like the Philly game and DSJ, the key is to get the guy down if he makes a catch. The best case is to prevent it, but the key to that Philly game was to not let DSJ score after the connection. Heavens to Mergatroid is bigger, but so is Culliver. Get him down at all costs. The pressure should be there. Chicago’s pass rush doesn’t scare anyone. Detroit throws a lot, so expect to see a lot of Aldon Smith and the 4-3.

  11. phil fan says:

    I know little about the Lions so I’m wondering how their running game is? I guess I take for granted that we can stop anybody’s rushing attack and nobody seems to mention it as a big threat. Some have said “Stop their run game and force Stafford to throw” which seems to be our plan against most teams. We certainly did that against the Bucs and Bengals. Then with our improved secondary playing Fangio and Donatell’s scheme we seem to be able to keep most out of the end zone. Think we will do something similar against the Lions? Or what?

    With an improved secondary, better pass rush and solid defensive line playing tough we are getting tougher to score against. I see a low scoring game. For the Lions…

  12. unca_chuck says:

    They throw a lot, Phil. Jahvid Best broke one long run vs Chicago, but has otherwise done little. They are 24th in the league in rushing average. Mainly because they throw a lot. They are 7th in passing and 10th overall in yards per game.

    This is today’s NFL. There aren’t a lot of teams establishing the run. Pressure is key. Our front 7 has been excellent at getting sustained pressure without having to blitz a lot, but for all the passing Deetroit does, they’ve only allowed 6 sacks, so their line is solid.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, this game is going to be about using the Lions’ aggressiveness agaisnt them. Screens, delays, runs up the middle out of the spread. Deetroit is a good team, but I don;t thenk they are on a level with Green Bay. The key of course will be limiting the damage that Mergatroid does. Culliver’s got good size and speed to match up with him. With Rogers over the top, hopefully they can tip some balls and keep Merg out of the end zone. Their run game is weak, so pressure is the key.

    The Niners may need to blitz more than they’ve shown so far this year. Get some clean hits on Stafford, and rattle his ass. He’s pretty damn inconsistent for stretches of games.

  14. grumpyguy says:

    Now what do you do if you’re Detroit?

    Running up the middle: not so much. Maybe attack the edges but with our LBs that’s still tough, even with Best.

    They have to throw. Lining CJ up at the line makes it easy for us. Move him around, put him in motion. If he gets a clean release across the LOS and gets up to speed, he is a load to handle. Also use him to clear zones and then slip Best out underneath. Our ILBs need to be aware of this possibility. Avoid turnovers if you can – the 49ers are capitalizing on them. Stafford has to make good decisions, and the line needs to give him time.

    On defense, Alex is playing too well now to sit back and wait for his mistakes. You have to get in his face and hit him. That makes you vulnerable to Gore and Hunter. Suh and the ILBs need to account for them on every play. If you tackle Gore, you’d better wrap – he is far too good at breaking tackles. Our WRs are a weak bunch right now. Your best cover guy and double coverage might be better on VD. Hit Crabs as he comes off the line. His timing is not good to begin with, and making it worse will keep him from hurting you too much. Ginn’s hands are suspect, so I’d stress the tip drill in the last practice.

    Could be an interesting chess match with Harbaugh. I would not be surprised if the game turns on one big mistake.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, my hope is the blocking holds well enough to get VD out on some patterns. Yer right, Grump. Deetroit looks to get us the way KC did last year. Send guys deep to clear out the underneath stuff. Maybe even a flea flicker. The Niners have done better this year at stopping that kind of stuff, but it still works at times.

  16. barleyfreak says:

    Actually Grump I don’t think Gore is really that special at breaking tackles. I think he excels at hitting small holes fast, low, swing and a miss and he’s gone. Maybe put another way, he’s better at breaking tackles north/south. When running perpendicular to the LOS it seems like any flailing arm will drop him.

    Unless we come out flat, I think we can score on these guys. But I also think their offense — especially at home — might be more formidable than Dallas was in week 2. But our D is playing better than week 2. I honestly don’t know how to defend Calvin Johnson, without WMD’s.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    RTCs, barley . . .

    Real Tall Cornerbacks. Culliver is as close as we got.

  18. phil fan says:

    Appreciate the analysis guys. Keys seem to be pressure the QB, pass coverage scheme, good defense against the runs. On offense attack the middle with run and short passes. Lots of TE action for blocking and passing. Seems Gore is on to something when says “We’re wearing them down”. In the second half of games opponents seem tired and baffled by our offensive attack.

    Hoping Harbaugh has confidence that the team can continue to execute offensively as recently and not revert to the simplified style that never worked that well. Roman: “Any play can be stopped if the D knows it’s coming”. Dazed and confused defenses, gonna see more of that

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, the real difference even between the Dallas game and the TB game was TB (and Philly for that matter) couldn’t stop the run even though they knew it was coming. The Dallas game they didn’t block as well, or their spacing was off.

    Man, I don’t know. They just looked so much better these last 2 games than they had the last 8 seasons. I’m sure they’ve got a good scheme worked out. I just wonder how much Smith is able to audible at this point. I think the slant to Morgan vs Philly was an audible but I’m not sure. That kind of recognition is key to beating teams like Deetroit.

    • barleyfreak says:

      My memory might be a little fuzzy, but isn’t another big difference the benching of Rachal and insertion of Snyder? It seems that the entire OL has morphed from sucking into very good based on that timing.

  20. NinerDog says:

    Hey Chuck, good to be back…had to track you guys down though, a little, what did I miss? Nevertheless….
    Detroit can be had, that is for sure…49er execution is a big part of it, the new found chemistry of the offense ( think receivers and Alex Smith and offensive line with itself, which is good for Gore and Hunter) which starts with Alex Smith making his own adjustments while the receivers get to where they are supposed to be and rolls when everyone plays mistake free. Part of that means Chilo Rachal’s playing time must be kept to a minimum until he knows what he is out there for. He sucks. He seems clueless about who to block when he plays.
    The defense with Willis and Bowman I think, can TCB. MacDonald has been pretty ferocious too. Haralson and Brooks are stepping their game up too, could they be hearing Aldon Smith’s footsteps behind them? Competition brings the best out of everybody. Justin Smith is just an animal doing what he likes to do, and knows how to do.
    Detroit will be a handful, but 49er weapons on O and the front 7 on D give me a lot of confidence

  21. NinerDog says:

    One more thing, I don’t think Linahan’s offense poses much of a mystery for Fangio

  22. phil fan says:

    Chuck I know you’re probably distracted by silly things like reality BUT since we (Crocs v Army) play FF this week I have a heads up before Dennis rips ya: you have 3 players with byes this weekend.

    We’re in a close race for the bottom so look out man I could edge you out! My Crocs are the best 1-4 team in our league. Rob squeaked by me by 2 lousy fucking points last week and I lost by six on the strength of Vick’s game against the 9ers. Dog eat dog I know

  23. phil fan says:

    Rob I’ll trade your lucky win last weekend against my fantasy Crocs for a real win this weekend against the Lions. Whaddya say? Would you do the same? Are you a real man or just a fantasy man, man?

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Phil. I usually get to that by Thursday or Friday. I guess I should be looking at the waiver wire earlier . . .

  25. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Phil, I’m one to talk. I’ve been scouring the waiver wire these past two weeks myself. These damn bye weeks can be killers. I was forced to start Kolb last week. Cost me the W. He’s all yours if ya want ’em. I p/u Tebow in his stead. That should fix all my problems.

  26. phil fan says:

    I’m gonna weep and moan over yer probs @ QB when YOU Del grabbed E Manning after the bone head rook (me) passed to take the Rams QB, whats his name?

    Uh, no. Man Vick killed me and then Freeman took a dump last game! But our boys got the Ws so I’m good.

    Hang in there mang!

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      I got beat on the waiver wire for a RB (Battle, KC) by of all people, Spit. Pissed me off royally. I really wanted, and needed, that RB. That’s OK, I play Spit this week. I’m building a special woodshed just for him.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    As of now, Ice is back in the line up, as is Iupati. no word on Spencer yet. We need as many DBs as possible. We’ll be playing a lot of nickel.

  28. Del Mar Dennis says:

    I uploaded a new video for our fantasy league. 49ers @ Lions from ’73. When you think you’re having a bad day, just think of John Brodie and the day he had. Your day can’t be going that bad.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    I just hope shit turns out like that pic at the top from 2009.

    • phil fan says:

      ! I gotta feeling we’re gonna do ok (win). I’ll leave the betting to Del !

      • Del Mar Dennis says:

        I bet the old axiom, “the game will be won or lost in the trenches” will never be more true Sunday. Can our OL play through the crowd noise and hold their own vs Detroit’s 9-man DL rotation? Can our pass rush get to Stafford (2nd least sacks/pass attempts) and rattle him early?

        Forget all the Big Names, this game will be won or lost by the Big Boys.

  30. unca_chuck says:




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