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The Lions weren’t going to fall into the trap so many teams do against the 49ers defense. They weren’t going to play one-dimensionally. They were determined to run, even knowing they would have to live with some 1- and 2-yard runs, even knowing they would be going less to their main weapon — Calvin Johnson.

“We had to wear them down with the run,” said Johnson, who caught eight passes for 94 yards. He was targeted 12 times. “We had to be patient. It’s tough, especially in this game. A team like that they had a good game plan, as far as keeping somebody underneath inside and keeping another guy over the top.

“We had to be patient and take what they gave us, little by little.”

The Lions managed 82 yards rushing, averaging 3.2 yards per carry – which is efficient. But it could have been so much better. The offensive line was creating running lanes, but too many times either Kevin Smith couldn’t get to them and through them quick enough.

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