Week Two NFL Preview: Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers

By Brian Cote

A great deal of the coverage of this Sunday night’s NFL game between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers continues to be on last season’s handshake incident.

The post game mishap of a handshake between Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh that ended in a confrontation has garnered a ton of air time from sports media outlets. The 49ers won last year’s meeting in a hard fought battle and gave the Lions their first loss of the 2011 campaign.

While the players from each team are almost certainly locked in to the X’s and O’s of the match-up the same cannot be said for the media.

If the Lions are going to win this game they cannot worry about off the field drama and semantics. The team clearly needs to refresh their focus after almost having a let down against the St. Louis Rams last week.

Detroit QB Matthew Stafford needs to limit the turnovers, while putting together sustainable drives to eat up the game clock. WR Calvin Johnson will be one to watch as always and especially with his foot injury. There has not been much word out of Lions camp on how bad the foot actually is so it will be something to look out for.

The Lions will also need to get to stop RB Frank Gore and the D-line will have to get to San Francisco QB Alex Smith. Gore opens up the passing game for Smith who has new weapons to throw to with WR’s Randy Moss and Mario Manningham now in the fold.

Detroit will need another big game out of RB Kevin Smith and the rest of the Lions backfield. DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Cliff Avril need to get pressure on the QB.

It will be a tough game to say the least for the Lions as the 49ers appear to be the early team to beat in the NFL. If Detroit wins they can change that and possibly move into first place all by themselves in the NFC North.

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