At San Francisco
4:05 p.m. ET
72 degrees and clear
Key Coaching Decision #1: (DET ball, trailing 13-7 / first-and-10 DET 45 / 2:00 Q2)
• Golden Tate catches a short pass and stretches for a first down. Kyle Shanahan challenges the spot on the field and the ball is re-spotted on the field. Tate does not get the necessary yards for the first down.
• The Lions are forced to abandon this once-promising drive and punt. The Lions had previously picked up a first down during this possession and were moving the ball down the field using a little bit of pace and the quick game. They could have attempted a fourth-down conversion on their side of the field, but that would not have been a prudent move on the road and with nearly a full half of football left in the game.
Key Coaching Decision #2/3: (SF ball, leading 13-7 / first-and-10 SF 13 / 1:49 Q2)
• At the end of the first half, the 49ers mismanaged the game situation and the clock. They should have run the ball here as they were backed up at their own 13-yard line and forced the Lions to use one of their three remaining timeouts.
• The 49ers are simply too green to be aggressive here. Two incomplete passes and a sack allowed the Lions to get the ball back with just under a minute left.
• Similarly, it surprised us that the Lions did not use a timeout after the sack on second down with 1:42 left, especially considering the Lions would likely get the ball back with good field position and the 49ers were facing third-and-19. Had they done this, the Lions might have had a better shot at a touchdown with that much more time on the clock.
• Nonetheless, this 49ers mismanagement led to decent field position (a Lions penalty negated a good return that would have resulted in even better field position) and a field goal to make it a 13-10 game heading into the half.
• The Lions special teams play wasn’t good. That’s despite All-Pro Jamal Agnew having a good day returning punts. One return touchdown was negated by penalties.
• The Lions run defense isn’t good. They are last in the league in rushing defense and for the second straight week gave up a TD run of more than 60 yards.
• The Lions offense scored three offensive points in Week 1; in Week 2, they scored 10. The Lions defense isn’t good enough to overcome such little production from the offense. Furthermore, they keep attempting deep passes and other low percentage plays that QB Matthew Stafford simply can’t complete. However, he seems to have established a rapport with second-year wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who finished with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.
• Matt Breida and Alfred Morris were utilized nearly equally (15 touches for Breida and 16 touches for Morris). Breida was more productive and ran for 138 yards and a touchdown.
• The Niners won their first game of 2018 in Week 2. In 2017, they didn’t win their first contest until Week 10.