Lions unable to overcome dreadful start in comeback bid against the 49ers

Lions fall, 41-33 in season opener
Lions fall in season opener
Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-12 22:02:40-04

DETROIT, Mich. — After an off-season filled with changes, Lions fans were intrigued to see what the team would look like in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers under first-year head coach Dan Campbell.

With Matthew Stafford gone to Los Angeles, it was also the debut of a new offense led by former No. 1 overall pick, Jared Goff.

Early on, Detroit would find momentum offensively behind former Packer Jamaal Williams at running back and Pro Bowl tight end, TJ Hockenson.

The first drive would stall on a fourth-and-one at the 49ers 36-yard line when Williams slipped in the backfield.

On the 49ers' first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would mishandle the snap and Jamie Collins was in on the recovery for Detroit.

Three players later, the Lions drive would stall and new kicker Austin Seibert would miss wide left on a 51-yard attempt making it two possessions into San Francisco territory with zero points to show for it early.

After a Trey Lance touchdown pass to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead, the Lions would respond with a six-yard touchdown from Goff to Hockenson to knot the game with 13:29 left in the first half.

From there, it was the inability of the Detroit defense that would steal the show.

Elijah Mitchell would score on a 38 yard touchdown run to give the Niners a 14-7 lead.

After a Seibert field goal, JaMycal Hasty would cap a nine play drive that took five minutes off the clock to extend the lead to eleven with 2:25 left in the half.

Momentum continued to swing in San Francisco's favor when Dre Greenlaw intercepted a Jared Goff pass for a touchdown to extend the lead to 28-10 with 1:10 left in the opening half.

The Lions offense would go three-and-out on the ensuing drive allowing Garoppolo to drive down the field to setup a 40-yard field goal from Robby Gould as Detroit would trail, 31-10 heading into the locker room.

In the third quarter, on the 49ers second drive of the half, Jeff Okudah was burned on a deep pass on third down as Deebo Samuel took the Garoppolo pass 79 yards for the score. It'd be 38-10 San Francisco at that point.

D'Andre Swift would get Ford Field re-energized on a 43-yard touchdown reception on a screen play from Jared Goff to get the game back within 21 points with 4:23 left in the third quarter.

After a stop on a 49ers third-and-one to get the ball back, the Lions drive would stall to open the fourth quarter.

Robbie Gould would add a 52-yard field goal to make it a 41-17 lead in the fourth quarter with 9:58 remaining.

From there, the most Lions things possible.

Time was dwindling down after the two minute warning, the Lions would trail by 24 before Jamaal Williams plunged into the endzone for a one yard score. A two-point conversion would cut the deficit to just 16, still unmanageable by many standards.

However, on the ensuing onside kick, the Lions would recover and would be setup in solid field position and plays later, Goff would find Quintez Cephus for a touchdown to cut the score to 41-33.

The 49ers would recover the onside kick but with under one minute left, after a pass completion to Deebo Samuel, the Lions would force a fumble and recover.

On a fourth-and-nine with under 25 seconds remaining, Goff's pass would fall incomplete and the comeback bid would end, 41-33 the final as the Lions fall to 0-1 on the season.

The team will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in Week Two.

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