The San Francisco 49ers will visit Dan Campbell’s Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 12, for the first time since 2015, when the Lions won with 32-17 in front of their home fans. These two NFL teams last met three years ago, in September 2018, when 49ers picked up a close 30-27 victory en route to a disappointing 15th-place finish to the season.
Detroit Lions vs San Francisco 49ers
When: Sunday, September 12 – 13:00 EDT
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
Weather: Intermittent Clouds, 26°C
It’s been three years since the San Francisco 49ers last met with Detroit Lions and nearly six years since they last played at the Ford Field. The last time 49ers clashed with the Lions was in September 2018, when they edged out a 30-27 win, marking their fourth W across the last five head-to-head meetings.
Although past records don’t mean much, considering most of those wins happened over half a decade ago, the visitors should feel confident in their chances as they take on a team that has not won a single match in their last seven outings and is 1-9 across their last 10.
Garoppolo Expected to Start For 49ers
Kyle Shanahan has announced that Jimmy Garoppolo will start for the 49ers this season, which made a lot of sense, albeit there were some concerns about their starting QB after he picked up a fracture on his index finger in the preseason finale. Still, Garoppolo is expected to start on Sunday.
In six games played, Garoppolo has completed 67.1% of his passes, threw for 1,096 and assisted with seven touchdowns in 2020. Obviously, he is a massive asset to Shanahan, albeit it’s only a matter of time before the 49ers start playing Trey Lance, who they drafted with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to take over as the team’s franchise quarterback.
The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2021 season with high ambitions, looking to improve upon their showings in 2020. Last year, the 49ers were 17th in scoring defence (22.8 ppg), fourth in passing defence (207.9 ypg), while their run defence was seventh at 106.4 ypg.
Even though the 49ers are not one of the favourites to win the Super Bowl LVI (13.00 at Bet365), they definitely have the talent to compete for a strong finish, as evident in their showings during the preseason.
In August, they played the current favourites to win the Super Bowl, Kansas City Chiefs, who they have nearly beaten but had to settle for a 16-19 loss. Still, Shanahan’s men picked themselves up in the final two games of the preseason and secured two convincing wins against Los Angeles Chargers (15-10) and Las Vegas Raiders (34-10).
Detroit Lions Counting on Home Advantage
Talent-wise, the Detroit Lions can’t compare to the 49ers, especially following the recent changes to their team. Still, they will have the luxury of playing at home, which should serve as a boost as the Lions look to cause an upset and secure their first W since December.
The hosts enter this match with an abysmal 1-9 record across their last 10 outings, which includes three preseason losses against Buffalo Bills (15-16), Pittsburgh Steelers (20-26), and Indianapolis Colts (17-27), who they faced two weeks ago.
The Lions aren’t in great form, and it doesn’t help that they’ve recently changed tier coach. As a reminder, the Lions fired head coach Mart Patricia and their general manager, Bob Quinn, after their home Thanksgiving Day loss (25-41) against Houston and handed over the reins to Mart Patricia, who will make his debut on Sunday.
Patricia was previously an assistant coach at the New Orleans Saints and interim coach of the Miami Dolphins for 12 games (5-7). While Patricia will have a lot to prove this term, we don’t believe he is the man that can help Lions improve.
Jared Goff is the current QB for the Lions, who arrived from the Los Angeles Rams, and while he is a decent addition, it likely won’t make much of a difference since the Lions lack in other areas. Last year the Lions were the worst defensive team, with 419.8 yards, 284.5 passing yards, and allowed 32.9 points per game.
It’s rather clear that the Lions’ defence isn’t at the level of top teams, and that definitely won’t work in their favour as they take on the 49ers.
Detroit Lions vs San Francisco 49ers Betting Pick
Siding with the favorites for the opening round of the NFL season might be scary, but there is no reason to doubt in 49ers for their Sunday’s bout. They’re clearly a much better team than the Lions, who we don’t expect to achieve much this term – especially against teams like the 49ers.
Although the Lions might cause some damage in the attack, their defence is way too weak for us to believe they can keep this one close. Last time out, the 49ers won with three points to spare – this time, they should close it out with at least nine.
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers -8.50 points – 1.92 at Sportmarket