Q. Even exchange – what was the crucial period in the game?
A. There wasn’t a real turning point, but there was a holding point. It came after the teams exchanged field goals on the first two possessions of the second half.
The 49ers stalled out on their first possession and settled for a field goal by David Akers. The Lions fizzled at their 22 on the ensuing possession and got a 40-yard field goal from
The 49ers responded with a field goal on the fourth play of the fourth quarter for a 20-9 lead.
Q. What was so important about that possession by the 49ers?
A. It gave them breaking room, with an 11-point lead. It made it a three-possession game – field goal, touchdown and two-point conversion – just to get a tie.
Yards and points were hard to come by, and that answer by the 49ers was big for them.
Other big plays were coming for the 49ers – three big completions to Michael Crabtree on third downs as they grinded time off the clock.
Q. Handshake II: There was no rematch between Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh. They exchanged a polite handshake before the game. Was that a good thing?
A. It was the right thing to do for both men. It took away the drama of what might happen when they crossed paths. The TV cameras didn’t have to follow both of them from the first play until the last to see what would happen.
It put the focus on the game. End of drama. No new chapter to the story.
Q. Personal view: But as a writer, did you want to see another flareup?
A. I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me as a sensationalist, tweet-mongering ambulance-chaser.
Q. Adding points: On a made field goal by the 49ers late in the first quarter,
A. There was no excuse. Florence got hit as he rushed from the kicker’s left side, but he still should have kept his balance and pulled off. Instead of a field goal for a 10-6 lead, the 49ers got a first down. They drove to a TD and a 14-6 lead.
The 49ers are too good and too tough to give them extra points.
Q. Clock I: The Lions called time with a little more than a minute left in the first half and the 49ers punting. Right call?
A. Yes. The 49ers were in an obvious punting situation. Calling time gave the Lions an opportunity to get their offense on the field and move the ball for a potential score.