5. What’s your prediction for the upcoming game and score.
CW: Despite the “sky is falling” feeling that many fans experienced after last week’s blowout loss, I predict a bounce-back game for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions’ offense this week.
The Lions played at a playoff-caliber level for the majority of the 2017 season, and even if they’ve taken a minor step back, they are still a competent team full of exciting offensive playmakers who can put points on the board, particularly through the air.
However, I also predict Garoppolo and the 49ers’ offense to revert to 2017 form, even without Goodwin on the field. After experiencing some first-game jitters to start last week’s game, rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis demonstrated why Lynch and Shanahan spent a second-round selection on the electric playmaker.
With another week of practice with Garoppolo under his belt, look for Pettis — who will start in Goodwin’s place — and fellow wideout Pierre Garcon to play more prominent roles in San Francisco’s passing game. Rookie WR Richie James should also see his first NFL action, which would add another aspect to the Niners’ offensive attack.
In the end, the winner of Sunday’s matchup will be determined less on the ground, and more through the air. The team that pressures the opposing quarterback, causes turnovers and finishes drives will win this game.
Final Prediction: 49ers 27, Lions 23