Week 2: Detroit Lions At San Francisco 49ers

Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner The Lions believe that Matthew Stafford can take them to a new level. He’s got a big, strong arm and excellent touch. If Stafford can stay healthy, the Lions can stay in the chase with Green Bay and Chicago in the NFC North.
Alex Smith outdueled Aaron Rodgers in the opening game of the season, and that’s no small feat for a player who has never had two consecutive good seasons. Smith has excellent mobility and a strong enough arm. He appears to have gotten over the edge and is an accurate enough passer to lead a powerful team.
Winner The Lions have perhaps the best and most explosive receiver in the NFL in Calvin Johnson. He’s simply unstoppable. Running back Kevin Smith gives the Lions a decent ground game that can complement Johnson and Nate Burleson.
Winner The ground game is in solid hands with Frank Gore, who will run hard every time is number is called. No disrespect to New England’s Rob Gronkowski, but tight end Vernon Davis may be the best player at his position in the league.
The Lions want to intimidate opponents with their strong and talented defensive line. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh can destroy the run and get a push up the middle while defensive end Cliff Avril has speed and explosiveness. The secondary is just ordinary at this point.
Winner The 49ers may have the most consistent front seven in the league. Defensive coordinator will not let opponents run the ball and Justin Smith may be the most versatile defensive lineman in the league. Linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith are both sensational players.
Special Teams
The Lions continue to trot out Jason Hanson to kick field goals because they know he is dependable. Ben Graham is an ordinary punter and the return game is not special.
Winner If the Philadelphia Eagles don’t regret letting David Akers go a couple of years ago, they should. Akers bombed home a 63-yard field goal against the Packers in Week One. Andy Lee is one of the best punters in the league.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

Last year, Jim Schwartz took exception to Jim Harbaugh’s backslap after the 49ers defeated the Lions in Detroit. Schwartz wants this game badly but the Niners appear to be too well-rounded and too tough defensively.


  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Baltimore Ravens takes practice throws during pregame against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Johnny Manziel (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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  2. FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by LeGarrette Blount #29 in the first half against the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 29-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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