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Stingy 49ers defense denies Lions in 27-19 win
Smith threw touchdown passes of 21 and 23 yards to tight end Vernon Davis, the defense shut down a prolific passer for the second time in as many weeks, and the San Francisco 49ers beat Detroit 27-19 Sunday night in a September showdown of NFC powers that hardly lived up to its hype.
The Lions didn’t do their part.
“It’s another win, obviously on a big stage, Sunday night against a really good opponent, playoff team last year,” Smith said. “The game came down to the wire last season at their place. So, now we have them at our place and we wanted to set the tone early.”
This stingy, opportunistic defense denied Stafford another milestone and again is making its mark as one of the league’s elite units by shutting down the top offenses and most prolific passers.
Smith completed 20 of 31 throws for 226 yards and extended his franchise-record streak of passes without an interception to 216. He led the reigning NFC West champion Niners (2-0) to their ninth straight win in the series since the Lions' last victory on Sept. 25, 1995. Smith took a hard hand to the helmet from John Wendling late and bloodied his nose, then found Davis again.
The 49ers ran their home winning streak against the Lions to 12 games since Detroit’s last victory at Candlestick Park on Nov. 2, 1975.
And no heated greeting after this one. Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz met each other with a friendly hello and handshake during pregame warm-ups, then an uneventful shake and half-hug when time expired.
“I thought it went good,” Harbaugh said.
Gore carried 17 times for 89 yards and a 1-yard touchdown, just missing his second 100-yard game this year and fourth in the series.
Calvin Johnson caught eight passes for 94 yards, but that was hardly enough as the Lions (1-1) didn’t get closer than the 20 until their final drive on a cool, windy night by the bay. San Francisco’s secondary kept Megatron from catching a touchdown pass for the second straight matchup, forcing Stafford to rely heavily on the running game.
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