Calvin Johnson summed it up right. He said, “If there are games you circle, this should definitely be one of those games.” He is referring to the Sunday night matchup between the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers. Why should this be such an important game to watch? Why should it be circled in red marker or put on your Blackberry calendar with a reminder set? There are a lot of reasons to tune in and see what each team looks like on the field.
Matthew Stafford and Johnson. These two were featured on the cover of a Sports Illustrated magazine issue because of their potential to be electric this season. Young stars that can connect and have the potential for a record breaking season in terms of touchdowns and yards gained. Having the game in primetime on Sunday night will get the two of them exposure (which will hopefully) be only positive. They have the capability to be awesome for this season and beyond if they remain healthy.
Two tough NFC teams. These teams are both rebuilding. The 49ers under Jim Harbaugh and the Lions under Jim Schwartz saw a winning record last year for the first time in a while. The 49ers went deep in to the playoffs and showed they will be a contender for years to come under Harbaugh’s guidance. The Lions want to be in that position this year and need to beat the 49ers to prove they are a legitimate force.
Not quite revenge. The 49ers beat the Lions last year and it left a bitter taste in their mouth. Johnson admitted they let the game slip away and should have won. This year he wants to end up with the win. Period. He wants to prove something to the 49ers and to the people not giving his team enough credit this year.
Handshake gate 2.0. Remember the incident with the handshake after the game? Schwartz was irked when Harbaugh “shook his hand too much” and was a little too exuberant after the game. He was so irked he ran to the end zone to have another word about it. Will they shake after the game this year?
Winner gets bragging rights. Analysts and sportcasters have picked the 49ers to go deep in to the playoffs and even to win the Super Bowl this season. Are they worthy of that much regard? A win would help them prove it. A win by the Lions would definitely prove to the world they are ready for the spotlight and to be a favorite in the playoffs. So both teams are looking to prove something not only to their own fans, but the rest of football on Sunday night.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the Lions or the 49ers, but football in general, this game should be circled. If for nothing else, you can watch it and see if it lived up to all of the hype by the players, the fans, the Las Vegas odds makers, and even the sportscasters. Can tough games be predicted with any accuracy? You will have to watch it to see who ends up on top.
And come on, it’s football. Good, tough games should be something to look forward to by everyone, no matter if you are in the NFC or the AFC.