The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a huge road win against the Green Bay Packers and welcome the Detroit Lions to the friendly confines of Candlestick Park this Sunday. Despite being an early season game, this matchup has all the makings of a NFC playoff game. The 49ers need to avoid the week 1 hangover and really step up in order to take care of the Matthew Stafford led Lions.
Based on week 1 analysis, the 49ers are easily the much better team coming into this game. The Lions were barely able to take care of the lowly St. Louis Rams while the 49ers had their way with the Packers. Seriously, I am surprised Alex Smith didn’t have to buy Aaron Rodgers dinner before violating that team.
In reality, there are only two main issues impacting the outcome of this game:
Alex Smith – Smith had a monster game against the Packers. Coming into the season, I was extremely skeptical of the 49ers management to keep him under center. I was never really sold on Smith and, to be honest, I’m still not. I neither expect Smith to toss up gems against the Lions nor do I expect him to have 300 yards with 3 TDs. I just really don’t think Smith can bust into an elite category.
With that being said, I think Smith can effectively manage the game against the Lions. So long as he limits mistakes and turnovers, the 49ers should come away with a victory. He has the crutch in a surprising Frank Gore and a resurgent Randy Moss as an outlet. Again, limit mistakes and manage the game Alex. Formula for a victory.
49ers Defense – Obviously, this is the cornerstone of the team. While they possess a few weapons on offense, the defense is going to be the unit to dominate this game. You know how they are going to do it? By bringing the pain against Stafford.
Seriously, could you imagine Patrick Willis coming full steam at you while you are trying to read a 3-4 Defense? Sounds like one of the most terrifying situations you could put me in outside of being contained at Guantanamo Bay.
Limiting Stafford limits the production of Megatron. Think about it. Calvin Johnson would be out of a job if Stafford couldn’t deliver the ball. So my advice to Jim Harbaugh, blitz heavy and blitz often.
If the 49ers head my advice, it will be a solid Sunday evening out by the Bay.
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