September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

San Francisco 49ers Defense Keeps Detroit Lions Offense in Check

San Francisco 49ers 27, Detroit Lions 19 (box score)
The San Francisco 49ers were a surprise a year ago but after the way they’ve started the 2012 season, they are much more than just a good story. With a punishing defense and an improved passing attack combined with an effective running game, the 49ers make a strong case to be known as the NFC’s best team. At the very least, they were the best team on the field this evening.

The Lions got off to a slow start with a three and out on offense followed by a four play touchdown drive on defense. It was an uphill battle from there.

Each team put together two scoring drives in the first half but the difference was that the 49ers scored touchdowns while the Lions settled for field goals.

Field goals were a major theme for the Lions. Four field goals were the only points the Lions could muster until late in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers brought the solid tackling that they’ve become known for to keep the Lions from breaking any big plays. Not only were the opportunities to catch and run few and far between, the opportunities to stretch the field wasn’t there for much of the night with the Niners’ safeties taking away the deep routes.

The consistency of the 49ers’ defensive attacked wasn’t matched by the Lions defense. For most of the night the 49ers were able to take advantage of the Lions defensive tackles’ aggressiveness by sealing off the defender as they pushed into the backfield, just as they did a year ago. The 49ers finished 4 of 11 on third downs for the game but it was a series of third down failures that helped seal the Lions’ fate.

The Lions look to get back to their winning ways next week when they play a Sunday afternoon game in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.

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