With the 49ers 27-19 victory over the Lions, here is what we learned from the game.
Alex Smith has matured and flourished in Greg Roman’s system on offense.
This is Smith’s first time in his career with the same system of offense. As a result, Smith showed he can handle the pressure of third downs. The drive that set up the final 49ers’ touchdown to Vernon Davis showed his composure in a big moment. He made the throws to Michael Crabtree and completed passes in critical moments. This was arguably his best game in his career in terms of coming through when it matters most. Smith continued his run of not throwing an interception with more than 200 completions since the last one. He made no mistakes tonight. On a botched snap, Smith calmly threw the ball away after what could’ve been a major loss in yards.
Alex Boone is thriving as a guard.
The Detroit Lions were testing the offensive line and Boone passed this test. He was completely dominant in run blocking and creating holes for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter when needed. He also wasn’t responsible for any sacks against the Detroit Lions defensive line.
The secondary can cover star receivers.
Donte Whitner and the 49ers had a great game in guarding Calvin Johnson. Even though he had 94 yards, he wasn’t effective this game in the big picture. The other Lions star Brandon Pettigrew was only held to three receptions and a late touchdown. Stafford was uncomfortable this game throwing a few passes completely off target. Dashon Goldson had a diving interception that set up the 49ers second touchdown.
Michael Crabtree has stepped his game up.
Crabtree has been scrutinized for not taking the next step potentially as a former top 10 draft pick. This game he showed he can be clutch and has been in shape for the big game. Three consecutive third downs were converted because of Crabtree’s ability to get open for Smith to throw to. He has also looked faster on the field and is able to get more yards after catch.
Frank Gore is still Frank Gore.
Gore may not have had 100 yards, but he was still effective on the ground. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry. The offensive line was solid in giving him holes and he had a touchdown to show for it. He had gains of 10 or more yards four times this game. The running game will be a dangerous weapon throughout this season because they were able to run the ball against a top defensive line.