Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

49ers 27, Lions 19

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers stymied 2011 MVP Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, then record-setting Matthew Stafford in Week 2.

This stingy, opportunistic defense is again making its mark as one of the league's best — and that you can shake on.

The Niners denied Stafford another milestone, Vernon Davis caught touchdown passes of 21 and 23 yards from Alex Smith, and San Francisco beat the Lions 27-19 Sunday night in a September showdown of NFC powers that hardly lived up to its hype.

Smith completed 20 of 31 for 226 yards and extended his franchise-record streak of passes without an interception to 216. He led the reigning NFC West champion Niners to their ninth straight win in the series since the Lions' last victory on Sept. 25, 1995. Smith took a hard hand to the helmet from Lions safety John Wendling late and bloodied his nose.

The 49ers ran their home winning streak against the Lions to 12 games since Detroit's last victory at Candlestick Park on Nov. 2, 1975.

And no heated greeting after this one. Coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz met each other with a friendly hello and handshake during pregame warmups, then an uneventful shake and half-hug when time expired.

Frank Gore carried 17 times for 89 yards and a 1-yard touchdown, just missing his fifth 100-yard game in as many career meetings with the Lions.

Calvin Johnson caught eight passes for 94 yards, but the Lions never got closer than the 20 until their final drive on a cool, windy night by the bay. San Francisco's secondary kept Megatron from catching a touchdown pass for the second straight matchup, forcing Stafford to rely heavily on the running game.

It was another impressive outing by a defense that shut down Rodgers in a 30-22 win over the Packers last week at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.

Stafford was 19 for 32 for 230 yards, one touchdown and an interception as he missed a chance to become the first player in league history to throw for 350 yards in five straight games. Drew Brees of the Saints also did so in four straight last season.

Stafford threw for 355 in last week's 27-23 win over St. Louis at home but also had three interceptions before halftime for the first time — and said he couldn't do that again for the Lions to win. He never got in synch.

In October, San Francisco rallied for a 25-19 win at Ford Field to hand Detroit its first loss after a 5-0 start and an excited Harbaugh enraged Schwartz with a firm backslap and handshake — the two had to be separated running off the field.

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