As expected, the 49ers rebounded from their loss in Minnesota to
easily barely handle the toothless scrappy Detroit Lions.
After controlling the game for three quarters, the Niners held a 17 point lead with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and looked to be cruising to victory. But it took a punt return TD nullified by an illegal block and an ugly interception redeemed by an opposite field holding call for the Niners to finally stop Detroit from tying or winning in the final minute of play.
Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked six times and had a modest day at the helm throwing for 200 yards and two TDs, but RB Matt Breida went nuts, rolling up 138 yards on 11 carries, including a 66 yard TD run. It remains to be seen whether this was a breakout game for Breida or just a one time fluke.
CB Ahkello Witherspoon had the opposite kind of day. In the fourth quarter, he was benched, reinserted, then benched again. It could have been a lot worse if Detroit QB Matthew Stafford hadn’t overthrown wide open receivers four times. Replacing Witherspoon was Jimmie Ward, who is not playing much at all these days. He’s lost his FS job and his nickle back job and his CB job.
The defense should get a boost this week with the return of suspended LB Reuben Foster. It could use a boost after giving up 427 yards to the Lions. Especially heading to Kansas City next week, a team going a bit ape on offense the first two games.
After two games, the defense looks little more than average, but the most concerning issue is the entirely mortal play of Garoppolo. He looks nothing like the quick release wunderkind from last season’s year end five game winning streak.
Lastly, without there being a firstly, or a secondly for that matter, two games into the season and we already have two ties in the two North divisions of the two Conferences. Too odd to not bear a mention.