Get to know a Detroit Lions opponent

San Francisco 49ers
2018 outlook Youth
LeGarrette Blount Jersey
, key additions, subtractions The Detroit
Lions will kick off their road schedule this week as they had to San Francisco
to take on the 0-1 49ers. Let’s get to know Detroit’s Week 2 opponent a little
better.San Francisco 49ersLast season:6-10 record (4th in NFC West)20th in
points scored, 25th in points allowedOverall DVOA: 20th (19th on offense, 26th
on defense)The 49ers were one of the worst teams in the NFL last year with new
head coach Kyle Shanahan in his first year as an NFL head coach. However, once
the offensive guru got Jimmy Garoppolo via a trade with the Patriots, the 49ers
saw an immediate turnaround. After averaging just 17.0 points per game through
the first 11 games, San Francisco suddenly averaged 28.8 points per game with
Garoppolo starting. A new era of 49ers football had begun. 2018 offseason:Key
free agent additions: C Weston Richburg, RB Jerick McKinnon (injured), CB
Richard Sherman, Edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu (cut)Key losses: RB Carlos Hyde,
G Brandon Fusco, RT Trent Brown, C Daniel Kilgore, S Eric Reid 2018 NFL draft
picks:Round 1, 9 overall - OT Mike McGlincheyRound 2, Pick 44 - WR Dante
PettisRound 3, Pick 70 - LB Fred WarnerRound 3, Pick 95 - S Tarvarius MooreRound
4, Pick 128 - DE Kentavius StreetRound 5, Pick 142 - CB D.J. ReedRound 6, Pick
184 - S Marcell HarrisRound 7, Pick 233 - DT Julian TaylorRound 7, Pick 240 - WR
Richie JamesIt’s clear one of the biggest goals for the 49ers this offseason was
to completely transform their offensive line. San Francisco is just returning
two starters: left tackle Joe Staley and former Lions guard Laken Tomlinson. In
their place, the Niners have a new right tackle in their first-round pick Mike
McGlinchey, while adding new center Weston Richburg (72.7 PFF grade in 2017)—a
three-year starter with the Giants coming off a season-ending concussion, which
was arguably just a demotion. It makes sense as an area of focus for the Niners,
as they allowed the 10th-most sacks last year and averaged just 4.1 yards per
carry (17th). Their defensive additions are headlined by adding veteran corner
Richard Sherman, who should nicely pair with youngster Ahkello Witherspoon.
Outlook for 2018Vegas win total: 8.5 winsNiners Nation’s take: OVER 8.5 wins2018
season thus farWeek 1: Loss to Vikings, 16-24The Vikings handled the 49ers
pretty well, but San Francisco would’ve had a shot in this game had it not been
for some pretty bad mistakes. Alfred Morris fumbled at the goal line late in the
first half, and as the Niners were about to get the ball back with well over two
minutes remaining, they jumped offsides on a fourth-and-1, giving the Vikings an
extra set of downs to burn an additional minute off the clock. The Niners not
only lost the game ,
but some key players that could affect Sunday’s game against the Lions. Starting
with that revamped offensive line, starting right guard Mike Person left the
game with an injury, and his backup, Joshua Garnett, was also carted off. As of
Thursday morning, neither had practiced this week. Additionally, the 49ers are
in trouble at linebacker. Reuben Foster remains suspended, while Dekoda Watson,
Brock Coyle and Malcolm Smith are all ailing. As a result, the 49ers signed
veteran journeyman Terence Garvin, who has started just four games since 2013.
The 49ers revamped offense didn’t look all that great last week, but it’s always
hard to tell if that has more to do with San Francisco or the Vikings’ superb
defense. That being said, the 49ers had two standout players from Week 1, one on
offense, one on defense. Offensively, tight end George Kittle made a statement
with 90 yards on five catches. He very well could turn out to be one of the best
tight ends in the league this year, but also don’t sleep on rookie Dante Pettis,
who had two catches for 61 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.Defensively, it’s all
about edge rusher DeForest Buckner. The former first-round pick had 2.5 sacks in
his season debut and added an additional tackle for loss. Lions head coach Matt
Patricia gushed about Buckner this week.“Buckner is really coming into his own
right now, obviously kind of had a little bit of a breakout game the other day,”
Patricia said. “I think they’re trying to feature him a little bit more in the
defensive line, allow him to do a little bit more, I would call it vertical
charge. A little bit of the, he’s got kind of a chop-slap arm-over move that’s
pretty effective with his length. So, he’s definitely a problem in the
front.”Vegas line for Week 2: 49ers by 7 Caught from behind on a 71-yard run,
Kerryon Johnson took some locker room ribbing, the kind that comes after a
victory on the road.Johnson rushed for 158 yards Sunday to help the Detroit
Lions beat Miami 32-21. His teammates thought he should have had more, but
safety Reshad Jones ran him down after the Lions' longest run in seven
years."Look, since high school I've been caught from behind enough times for me
to know that's how it happens in life," Johnson said. "But I haven't run 71
yards in a long time, so I was proud of myself."The Lions (3-3) had lots of
reasons to feel good after climbing to .500, their high-water mark so far this
season. The Dolphins (4-3), by contrast ,
fell out of their first-place tie with New England in the AFC East.Here are
things to know about both teams:GROUND GAME: The Lions netted 248 yards on the
ground, their highest total since the Barry Sanders era in 1997, and averaged
7.1 per rush. The same team rushed for 39 yards in a season-opening loss to the
New York Jets."When you go out and you can execute and do it the right way, it
looks really good," coach Matt Patricia said. "We've seen it when it doesn't
look so good."For the first time this season, the Lions had more rushes than
pass plays. Quarterback Matt Stafford was fine with that, given the
results."It's incredible," he said. "Our guys up front dominated. They played
great. I thought our receivers in the back end blocked well, and then obviously
our backs were awesome. It was a lot of fun to watch them do their thing."I
haven't been a part of too many of those, and it was a whole lot of
fun."STAFFORD'S STATSWhen he did throw, Stafford was a model of efficiency. He
went 18 for 22 for 217 yards with two scores and no turnovers for a season-high
rating of 138.1.Stafford had his fifth game in row with at least two touchdown
passes and a 100 passer rating. He threw four interceptions in opener, but has
only one since.FURTHER DEPLETEDThe injury-plagued Dolphins lost two more key
players. Dynamic receiver Albert Wilson was sidelined in the first half, and
receiver Kenny Stills limped to the locker room with a minute left.Wilson's
agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said his client suffered a hip injury that appeared
significant."I would say the best-case scenario is that he would miss a few
weeks," Rosenhaus said during his weekly appearance on South Florida's WSVN-TV.
"Worst-case scenario is he could possibly miss the rest of the season."There
won't be much time for any Dolphins to mend — they play Thursday at the Houston
Texans (4-3), who earned their fourth consecutive victory Sunday by winning at
Jacksonville."We'll figure something out," coach Adam Gase said. "It's going to
be a short week, but at the same time we'll have enough guys to be ready to
go."RUSHING THE PASSERDetroit defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois had two sacks
and two quarterback hurries. He said he was effective, in part, because the
Lions' ball-control attack allowed him to stay fresh by spending a lot of time
on the sideline."I love the offense," Francois said. "I love when they are
running that ball, passing, and you just keep hearing 'first down, first down,
first down.' I'm a big fan of our offense. Our offense did their job, ate the
clock, ran the ball, controlled the game."MIAMI QBSBrock Osweiler played well in
his second start filling in for the injured Ryan Tannehill. Osweiler went 22 for
31 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers.Tannehill is nursing a
sore throwing shoulder, and Gase declined to shed any light on his status for
the Texans."I don't know yet because we haven't gotten that far yet," Gase said.
"I was worried about today."
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