Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Sunday Night Football game at San Francisco 49ers will define the Detroit Lions

There were milepost games last season for the Lions. The ones that defined how far they've come were the Monday night win over the Bears, improbable comeback victories at Dallas and Minnesota, and clutch late-season wins at Oakland and over the Chargers.
One of the games that defined how far the Lions still have to go was a home loss to 49ers, who they face on Sunday Night Football this week at San Francisco.
The Lions were 5-0 when the 49ers visited Ford Field last year. Their offensive line marginalized Detroit's defensive line, running back Frank Gore ran downhill like an out-of-control freight train and Matthew Stafford was transformed from extraordinary to ordinary by a persistent 49ers pass rush. that sacked him five times. Then, at the end, there was "Handshake Gate."
The Lions were a bit unnerved after that game, and were never quite the same the remainder of the season. A lot of that was due to injuries in the secondary, and an inability to stop opposing passing games, but some of it, at least, was the 49ers showing the world the Lions aren't that good.
The 49ers haven't taken any steps back. They may even be better this season. Their victory Sunday at Green Bay suggests so.
Are the Lions any better? There couldn't be a better test to find out than Sunday at San Francisco with the whole world watching.


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