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article imageNFL: The 49ers hand Lions their first loss of the season 25-19

By Austin Tyler     Oct 16, 2011 in Sports
Detroit - With the Detroit Lions on a roll to begin the season they were highly favored to win this week to take them to a 6-0 record. The San Francisco 49ers has been on a roll of their own as they are on the verge of making a complete turnaround.
The Detroit Lions (5-1) took on the San Francisco 49ers (5-1) in a game that was supposed to be the biggest game of the week. Both teams came in on winning streaks with only one having the chance to keep theirs going. The Lions came up short as they took their first loss of the season 25-19.
Detroit got the ball to start the game and they went three and out as they lost 2-yards to open the game. They were punted the ball away after three plays and the 49ers took over. The Niners could not keep the ball as Alex Smith (17/32, 125 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int) was sacked by Kyle Vanden Bosch who forced the fumble that he recovered.
The Lions took over with nice field position, but could not get in the endzone. Matthew Stafford (28/50, 293 yards, 2 TD’s) got the drive going with his only one of the game for 9-yards. Stafford then missed on his next two passes and the dive stalled. Jason Hanson came on to kick a 25-yard field-goal to make it a 3-0 game.
The 49ers went three and out on their drive and punted the ball to the Lions with 7:46 to go in the first quarter. Stafford got the Lions offense going using the no huddle as they moved the ball down the field 74-yards. Jahvid Best (12 carries, 37 yards) got the ball moving with a 13-yard gain. Stafford then connected with Calvin Johnson (7 receptions, 113 yards) for an 11-yard gain. Brandon Pettigrew (8 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD) capped off the drive with a 16-yard catch from Stafford. The touchdown gave the Lions a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive the 49ers got the ball and moved it 85-yards down the field. Smith started with a pass to Michael Crabtree (9 receptions, 77 yards), but the bulk of the yards was done by Frank Gore (15 carries, 141 yards, 1 TD). Gore broke 14 and 47 yard run off to get the 49ers down the field. Gore even finished the drive with a 1-yard run to make it a three-point game 10-7.
With 7:55 to go in the half the Lions where backed up in their own territory on the 11-yardline. Stafford backed up to pass, but went back to far and Aldon Smith sacked him for a safety. The safety made it 10-9 games with the Lions punting them the ball back. The 49ers could not do anything with the turnover and had to punt the ball right back to the Lions.
The Lion took the ball and began to move it down the field. Stafford hit Titus Young with his only catch of the game for 14-yards to get them going. He later connected with Johnson for a 11-yard pass and Best for a 8-yard pass. The drive stalled and Hanson came on to kick a 52-yard field-goal. The field-goal was no good as the ball went wide right and gave the 49ers decent field position.
The 49ers had .55 seconds on the clock and Smith got the 49ers moving as they went 21-yards to set David Akers up with a 55-yard field-goal. Akers came on to make the field-goal as time ran out and the Niners took a 12-10 lead into halftime.
San Francisco got the ball to start the second half, but went three and out punting the ball to the Lions. Detroit took the ball and Stafford got things rolling as they moved it 21 and 32 yards on back-to-back screen plays to Best. Stafford then had three straight incompletions and Hanson came on to attempt another field-goal. The Lions had to settle for a Hanson 24-yard field-goal which gave them a 13-12 lead.
On the ensuing drive the Niners got the ball and moved to set Akers up for field-goal range. Gore had another big run on the drive as he broke a 55-yard run before being talked on the Detroit 28-yardline. The drive hit a dry spot as the 49ers could not keep it going and Akers came on for another field-goal. Akers made a 31-yard field-goal that gave them a 15-13 lead.
With 2:32 to go in the third quarter the 49ers had the ball and Smith tried to hit Crabtree on a pass. Amari Spievey intercepted the ball and returned 30-yards for the Lions before being tackled.
The Lions wasted no time as they got Maurice Morris (5 carries, 20 yards) going with an 11-yard run. Stafford then connected with Nate Burleson (4 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD) on a 14-yard pass and catch. Stafford also hit Johnson with a nine yard pass before going back to Burleson for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Detroit tried to go for two-points after the touchdown, but missed it making it a 19-15 game.
The 49ers later got the ball with 5:29 left in the game and Kendall Hunter (8 carries, 33 yards) got the drive going with two 9-yard runs. Gore then had a 9-yard run of his own before Smith hit Delanie Walker (2 receptions, 11 yards 1 TD) with a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it a 21-19 game.
Detroit had a chance to answer, but went four and out as they tried to go for it on fourth down. Stafford hit Pettigrew with a 5-yard pass, and then had three straight incompletions to finish the drive.
San Francisco got the ball back and moved it on the ground with Gore who set them up for the winning 37-yard field-goal. Akers came on and sealed the win with a field-goal to make it a 25-19 game with 1:02 left in the game. The Lions ran out of comeback juice as they struggled to move the ball down field after Stafford was sacked for an eight yard loss. They even tried to pull off a late lateral play, but Young fumbled it to end the game.
The fireworks did not end when the game was over as usually the coaches meet at mid-field to shake hands. Well Jim Harbaugh came across the field lifting his shirt, and then extended his right hand to Jim Schwartz for a shake and slapped him on the back with his left hand. Schwartz didn't like what was done or said as he claimed he heard an expletive form Harbaugh. Schwartz then went charging after Harbaugh and both of them had to be separated more than once.
When Harbaugh was asked about the situation he said
That's totally on me. I shook his hand too hard.
When Schwartz was asked about the situation he said
I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way. I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. Obviously, when you win a game like that, you are excited, but there is a protocol that goes with this league.
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