Detroit Lions: A few key takeaways from Week 1 loss to 49ers

Quintez Cephus (87) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) , Detroit Lions (Photo credit: Detroit Free Press)
Quintez Cephus (87) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) , Detroit Lions (Photo credit: Detroit Free Press) /

As expected, the Detroit Lions fall to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 on Sunday by a final score of 41-33.

The Lions trailed 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter, but new head coach Dan Campbell’s team did not give up and cut that lead to a one-possession game late and came up short in the final seconds of a game-tying drive.

Despite putting up 33 points, and Jared Goff having an impressive stat line throwing for 338 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, the offense looked very bland. There were no explosive plays, numerous check-downs, and running back screens. It is also very concerning that the top three pass catchers all with eight grabs were the tight end, T.J. Hockenson, and running backs, Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift.

The Lions’ wide receivers were essentially nonexistent for most of the game. It’s apparent that the Lions do not have a true wide receiver one, which everyone knew coming into the season, but after today’s display, it looks like wideout Quintez Cephus might be the go-to guy for quarterback Jared Goff as he was targeted seven times throughout the game.

The Lions comeback effort fell just short vs the 49ers on Sunday.

Detroit fans all off-season kept preaching that the defense this year could not possibly be worse than the 2020 team, well, it appears we all could be wrong.

Aaron Glenn’s defense gave up 442 yards of total offense to the Niners, which will not win the Lions a lot of games. A bright spot for the defense was that they did create three turnovers, unfortunately, the offense could not cash in on all the opportunities the defense created for them.

All in all, this could be considered a “moral victory” for the 2021 team and the new leadership and coaching regime. The Lions did not give up, even when every fan gave up when it was 38-10, the team kept grinding out and trying to make plays.

Ultimately, they did fall short, but the effort was there, and you know that was instilled in them by Dan Campbell. The Matt Patricia era Lions would have given up completely, but this new team seems to be trending in the right direction for the future.

The Lions are rebuilding so we need to keep that in mind, but we will see how Detroit rebounds after this loss next week on primetime Monday night football on the road against the Green Bay Packers.