By: Eric Thomas
The 49er game is a steep climb. San Francisco is among the NFL’s toughest defenses. They only added talent to the offense last off season, much of it unnecessary. Vernon Davis might be enough to shred the Lions D by himself, much less Moss or Crabtree. Sunday night looks, on paper, like more of a demonstration of dominance than a game. Any honest analyst of all things football would tell you that the 49ers will win, and probably win in a dominating fashion. They will tell you that the 49er defense is too good, and the Lions defense is too bad and the Lions don’t have a chance against the team that played in the NFC Championship game last year. Only a true slap happy biased fan will give you reasons why they will win.
Well, I am a slap happy biased Lion fan. I am unencumbered by such sober reasoning. Here’s why the Lions win:
First, the passing game for the 9ers isn’t there yet. Alex Smith had a high completion percentage in week one, but that’s for people that didn’t watch the game. That Green Bay pass defense is just as bad as you remember. The 9ers didn’t look dominant by any stretch. Alex Smith looked just as shaky as you remember him. He looks like the weak link on a team that wanted Peyton Manning. The Lions have a lousy secondary made only lousier by injury, but the 9ers isn’t the Saints.
Second, the Lions match up well up front. Frank Gore can, and should, scare you. But if the Lions stuff the run, they should be able Gore contained. Remember, last year’s defense did a fairly admirable job at this last year and the game came down to the wire at the end. That’s why Coach Lennie Small came across the field with such bubbling enthusiasm and Coach Schwartz kind of wanted to punch him.
On a side note, why is its tantamount to treason to discuss the handshake? The word from both camps is, “That’s on you guys,” because it’s the MEDIA (apparently) who just about got in a physical fight immediately following last year’s game. What a joke. Note to all parties involved: You aren’t the President. Get over yourself. I hate when teams give out ‘no comment’ and act like they are protecting state secrets from the front lines of war. It’s a game played for the entertainment of those who watch. Have fun and stop talking like White House spokespeople.
Third, Megatron. You could throw this reason out any time, but 81 was relatively silent in last year’s game. They went into last year’s contest with a healthy Jahvid Best, who hasn’t played since. Maybe this year, going in with no running game will prepare the Lions for the task ahead. They can game plan knowing there isn’t a home run threat in the backfield. (Yes, this is a homer column)
This doesn’t feel like the Saints game last year. This seems like a game that the Lions have a chance to win. A chance. It’s perhaps only a chance because I really want them to win. I can admit that, too.