Quote to note: “As far as any of that big picture stuff that you say fans are talking about, I don’t know. But I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about the guys in our locker room, our coaching staff, and everybody doing everything we can to get on the right page and get a win.” – Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford bounce back: One of his worst games was the infamous 2015 Week 5 loss to the Cardinals when he was benched after his third pick early in the third quarter.
Stafford was noticeably angered. He responded the next week by completing 27 of 42 passes for 405 yards and four TDs in a 37-34 overtime win over the Bears.
Lions O, Golladay spark: Kenny Golladay wants to continue Sunday what he did against the Jets as one of the few bright spots in a lopsided loss.
He had seven catches for 117 yards, and he was still making plays in the fourth quarter when the outcome had been decided.
“I go into each game trying to be a spark to the offense – if it’s blocking, catching,” Golladay said.
He could have added tackling. He knocked the ball loose from Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson after he’d made an interception. The Lions recovered the ball.
It was early in the second quarter, with the Jets holding a 10-7 lead. The Lions didn’t get anything out of it when Matt Prater missed a 55-yard field goal.
“That was all effort, just going out there, really just trying to stop him, get him down,” Golladay said. “I saw an opportunity. I just took it.
“I’m not a quitter. I’m not going to stop playing until there are zeroes across the board.”
Series record: The 49ers have a 36-27-1 lead in the regular season. The Lions won the last meeting, 32-17, at Ford Field in 2015. The Lions’ last road win against the 49ers was 28-17 in 1975.
Lions’ D, Quin’s scouting report: Safety Glover Quin has seen on video a 49ers offense similar to what he practiced against as a rookie with the Houston Texans in 2009. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was in his last season as the Texans’ offensive coordinator.
The 49ers use motion to get the defense flowing one direction and throw passes the other way to tight ends.
Tight end George Kittle had a team-high five catches for 90 yards in Game 1. Kyle Juszczyk, who’s listed as a fullback but also lines up in the slot like a tight end, got wide open down the right sideline for a 56-yard catch.
“It’s motion,” Quin said. “It’s commotion.”
49ers’ O, Harold on Jimmy G: Linebacker Eli Harold was acquired from the 49ers late in the preseason. He doesn’t think he can add much to the scouting report on the 49ers’ offense.
“Ultimately, watching film – the eye in the sky never lies,” he said. “Obviously film helps the guys out more than I can.”
He has a high regard for QB Jimmy Garoppolo for how he jump-started the team last year.
“I feel like he can make every throw,” Harold said. “He’s the catalyst of that team. With him, they can be special.
“He has winning DNA.”
Meet this weeks opponents, the San Francisco 49ers.
Key duel -- Buckner-Ragnow: Lions rookie left guard Frank Ragnow has a tough assignment on plays when he faces 49ers right defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Buckner was credited with 2.5 of the 49ers’ three sacks against the Vikings.
Buckner (seventh overall in 2016) is one of three first-round picks on the 49ers’ D-line, along with bookends Arik Armstead (2015) and Solomon Thomas (2017).
“Buckner is really coming into his own right now,” said Lions head coach Matt Patricia. “I think they’re trying to feature him a little more.”
Ball control: It was lacking against the Jets – not just because of turnovers – and has to improve. The Lions were 3-for-13 on third-down conversions and had two first downs rushing – one in each half.
Not the kind of balance they wanted.
Prediction: With all the noise created by such a poor performance in the opener, it might be better for the Lions to be on the road. Expect them to play better and not give the ball away, but the 49ers are deserving favorites.
49ers 23, Lions 20.