5 things the Lions must do to beat the 49ers
Five things the Detroit Lions must do to beat the 49ers in San Francisco:
1. Stop Frank Gore from breaking through for long runs. The Lions run defense was successful in Week One against the Rams’ running back Steven Jackson. They must do the same with Gore who, in four career games, has averaged 125 yards against the Lions.
2. Run the ball effectively. Kevin Smith is the starter and had a solid game against the Rams, but the 49ers defense will be tougher against the run. Smith got much help from the offensive line, they’ll need to aid the cause at Candlestick Park.
3. Limit turnovers. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Lions beat the Rams despite having a plus-three turnover ratio thanks to three interceptions by Matthew Stafford in the first half. He’s a gunslinger, but the 49ers will make the Lions pay for turnovers
4. Defensive line must put pressure on quarterback Alex Smith like they did Sam Bradford. The line finished with four sacks (the NFL added another one days after the game), they need to sustain the attack.
5. Stay focused. Don’t let the bright lights of Sunday Night Football or all the talk about The Handshake become a distraction. Don’t think about the fact the Lions haven’t won in San Francisco since Nov. 2, 1975. From the way the Lions talk, this shouldn’t be an issue, but things change.
(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her new book, “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)