If there is one word to describe this Jim Harbaugh led group, it’s physical. The 49ers were dominant in every sense of the word.
While the 30-22 score may seem close, this matchup was far from it. We can thank the temporary referees for that, but that’s another issue for another time.
The 49ers will have a short-lived victory celebration, as they now prepare for another explosive offense in the Detroit Lions.
Will the 49ers be able to cope with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson? If recent history is taken into consideration, then the 49ers should have little trouble with this explosive duo.
We all know about the 49ers last matchup against the Lions. Forget player matchups, there was nearly a brawl between the feisty head coaches of these two talented teams.
Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz have patched things up, but this is still a matchup players will love to revisit.
In 2011, this was a matchup of two franchises on the rise. They had something to prove to the NFL world. Now, it’s about two clubs who want to take that next step.
In retrospect, the 49res are closer to championship contention but the Lions should not be discounted when discussing NFC powerhouses.
The Niners will face a similar high-powered offense in the Lions but after slowing down the reigning MVP in Aaron Rodgers, the Niners should feel more comfortable with Stafford.
A gunslinger at heart, Stafford will try to beat this Niners defense largely with his big toy in Calvin Johnson.
The 49ers had success against Johnson in their last matchup, holding the 6’5’’ receiver to zero touchdowns.
The 49ers will rely on a bevy of defensive backs to slow down Megatron, but I expect Chris Culliver to again make his mark in this game.
Culliver is likely the only 49ers defensive back that could physically matchup with Johnson.
If all fails with Johnson, Stafford will likely turn to the running game with Kevin Smith at the helm. That may be a bad idea against a top-heavy 49er run defense that held the Green Bay Packers to just 45 yards on the ground in week 1.
How about Alex Smith and that 49ers offense? After a good showing against the Packers horrid defense, the 49ers should play well against a similarly bad unit.
Expect the Niners to pound the rock with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. While Smith has looked both sharp and comfortable in the pocket, this is still an offense that lives and dies with the ground game.
Buckle up folks; this could be a testy matchup in the ‘Stick.’