Week 2: Detroit Lions At San Francisco 49ers

Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner The Lions believe that Matthew Stafford can take them to a new level. He’s got a big, strong arm and excellent touch. If Stafford can stay healthy, the Lions can stay in the chase with Green Bay and Chicago in the NFC North.
Alex Smith outdueled Aaron Rodgers in the opening game of the season, and that’s no small feat for a player who has never had two consecutive good seasons. Smith has excellent mobility and a strong enough arm. He appears to have gotten over the edge and is an accurate enough passer to lead a powerful team.
Winner The Lions have perhaps the best and most explosive receiver in the NFL in Calvin Johnson. He’s simply unstoppable. Running back Kevin Smith gives the Lions a decent ground game that can complement Johnson and Nate Burleson.
Winner The ground game is in solid hands with Frank Gore, who will run hard every time is number is called. No disrespect to New England’s Rob Gronkowski, but tight end Vernon Davis may be the best player at his position in the league.
The Lions want to intimidate opponents with their strong and talented defensive line. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh can destroy the run and get a push up the middle while defensive end Cliff Avril has speed and explosiveness. The secondary is just ordinary at this point.
Winner The 49ers may have the most consistent front seven in the league. Defensive coordinator will not let opponents run the ball and Justin Smith may be the most versatile defensive lineman in the league. Linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith are both sensational players.
Special Teams
The Lions continue to trot out Jason Hanson to kick field goals because they know he is dependable. Ben Graham is an ordinary punter and the return game is not special.
Winner If the Philadelphia Eagles don’t regret letting David Akers go a couple of years ago, they should. Akers bombed home a 63-yard field goal against the Packers in Week One. Andy Lee is one of the best punters in the league.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

Last year, Jim Schwartz took exception to Jim Harbaugh’s backslap after the 49ers defeated the Lions in Detroit. Schwartz wants this game badly but the Niners appear to be too well-rounded and too tough defensively.


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

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