This is the live blog for the 49ers week 6 road game against the Detroit Lions. I’ll be updating this frequently from my living room.
8:48 The Niners inactives are Scott Tolzien, Braylon Edwards, Tramaine Brock, Moran Norris, Daniel Kilgore, Mike Person, Ian Williams. That means Demarcus Dobb and new WR Brett Swain are active for today’s game.
9:02 Ted Ginn Jr. will start at wide receiver in place of Joshua Morgan. The Niners list Kyle Williams as their third WR and Brett Swain as their fourth.
9:35 Jay Glazer says on Fox that the Niners are one of the few teams most interested in trading for WR Brandon Lloyd.
10:02 The Niners won the toss and deferred, as they always do. Jim Schwartz just said on TV the Niners don’t want to face their defensive line right away.
10:04 Stafford throws a screen to Jahvid Best on first down, and Ahmad Brooks tackles him behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of two. Next play, Stafford hands the ball off to Best, and Bowman tackles him after a gain of one.
10:05 On third and long Justin Smith forces Stafford to roll left out the pocket. Stafford tries to throw on the run but he throws the ball out of bounds. Three and out. Lions punt, Niners take over on their 39 yard line. Deferring the kick has been a good call for these 49ers.
10:07 First play on offense, Kyle Vanden Boech beats Joe Staley around the edge and strips the ball from Alex Smith as he cocked his arm back to throw. Lions ball at the Niners 32.
10:08 Aldon Smith gets called for a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty for hitting Stafford in the knees.
10:09 Next play, Aldon Smith gets drawn offside by Stafford’s hard count.
10:09 Next play, Stafford steps up in the pocket and scrambles for nine yards and a first down.
10:10 On second and goal from the two, the Lions’ Titus Young gets called for the false start.
10:11 Stafford tries to throw to Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone, but Patrick Willis bats the pass away at the last second. Next play, Justin Smith forces Stafford to throw an errant pass. Lions settle for a field goal. Hanson makes the 29-yard attempt. 3-0 Lions.
10:13 Let’s see what Harbaugh and Roman do to help their tackles, who clearly need help. I would expect to see tight ends Justin Peelle and Vernon Davis stay in to block on this series.
10:15 Ginn Jr. calls for a fair catch in the end zone on the kickoff. Niners will start their second drive from their own 20.
10:17 On first down Delanie Walker gets called for the false start, but Vernon Davis jumped as well.
10:18 On first and 15, Anthony Davis gets called for the false start.
10:19 Frank Gore runs up the middle for a gain of one.
10:20 Smith throws high and incomplete, intended for Ginn Jr. Corey Williams was in Smith’s face.
10:20 On third and 19 Smith throws a screen to Frank Gore who picks up eight yards. The Andy Lee punts the ball 48 yards to the Detroit 33.
10:24 Justin Smith tackles Jahvid Best on first down after a gain of one. Next play, Stafford incomplete, intended for Burleson on a crossing route.
10:25 On third and long Stafford completes a pass underneath to Pettigrew, but Willis tackles him immediately. The Niners defense looks dominant early. The Lions punt, and the Niners will start at their 25.
10:28 On first down the Niners try Student Body pitch left to Hunter, but it doesn’t work. Loss of two.
10:29 Next play, Smith takes a three step drop and throws high to Crabtree, but he plucks the ball out of the air for a gain of seven.
10:29 On third and five Anthony Davis gets called for an illegal formation, but Detroit declines the penalty because they forced an incomplete pass from Smith on the play. Lee punts. Lions ball at their 30. 52 yards on the punt and 12 on the return.
10:32 On first down Stafford completes a pass to Pettigrew over the middle for a gain of six.
10:33 On second and four, Best picks up 13 after escaping a Patrick Willis tackle.
10:34 Next play, Stafford completes a pass to Calvin Johnson. Gain of 11. First down. Tarell Brown was in man coverage.
10:35 Carlos Rogers gets called for a pass interference penalty on Nate Burleson. Lions ball at the SF 16.
10:36 Next play, Stafford throws a perfect pass to Pettigrew in the end zone, but Pettigrew trips and the pass falls incomplete.
10:36 Next play, Titus Young gets called for the false start. 2nd and 15.
10:38 Stafford throws a strike to Pettigrew in the end zone. The refs rule the play a touchdown. Willis ripped out the ball, but Pettigrew looked to have already had possession. Jim Harbaugh gets called for 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for trying to challenge the play. The penalty will be enforced on the kickoff. 10-0 Detroit.
10:42 Niners start at their 20. On first down Smith throws a screen to Crabtree for a gain of five.
10:43 Next play, Gore runs right into a pile of bodies at the line of scrimmage, cuts back to the left and picks up 14 yards. First down.
10:44 Next play, Hunter runs off right tackle for a gain of eight yards.
10:44 On second and two, Bruce Miller goes in motion and gets called for the false start. Make that second and seven.
10:45 Smith completes a pass to Crabtree for a gain of four. Third and three.
10:46 In shotgun, Smith completes a short first down pass to Vernon Davis on a quick out to the left for a gain of six.
10:47 On first down, Delanie Walker makes a huge sealing block at the line of scrimmage and Gore runs up the middle for a gain of 47. First and goal at the 2.
10:48 Anthony Dixon runs up the middle for no gain on first and goal.
10:51 On second down Gore runs up the middle for a touchdown. Ford Field goes silent. There are some boos, even. 10-7 Lions.
10:54 Lions start at their own 20. On first down Best runs up the middle for a gain of one.
10:55 On second down Stafford completes a short pass to Burleson for a gain of five.
10:56 On third down Burleson is open crossing the middle, but Stafford throws the pass at his feet. Incomplete. Lions punt out of bounds. Niners take over at their own 31.
10:59 On first down Hunter runs up the middle for a gain of 3.
10:59 On second down Frank Gore drops a pass from Smith. It looked like the ball bounced off his chest.
11:00 On third and seven Smith completes a six-yard pass to Crabtree. They’ll have to punt again.
11:01 Lee punts it 60 yards into the end zone. The Lions will start at their own 20.
11:02 On first down Stafford completes a quick slant to Johnson for eight yards.
11:02 On second and short Donte Whitner tackled Maurice Morris after a gain of one yard.
11:03 On third down Ahmad Brooks runs undeterred at Stafford and sacks him after Stafford just goes down. Lions punt. Ginn Jr. calls for a fair catch at the SF 39.
11:06 On first down Smith fakes a handoff and completes a pass over the middle to Crabtree for a gain of 10. First down.
11:07 Next play Smith throws a quick go route to Crabtree on the right sideline but Chris Houston bats the ball away.
11:08 On second and long Gore gains three on an inside handoff. Third and seven.
11:08 Joe Staley gets called for the false start as the Lions show a big blitz.
11:09 Harbaugh calls a timeout just before Alex Smith lets the play clock run out.
11:10 The Niners have four false starts, and Staley has two.
11:11 Third and 12, Alex Smith rolls to the right and scrambles for two yards. Smith escapes Cliff Avril because Bruce Miller missed a block. Lee punts 40 yards. The Lions call a fair catch at their 11.
11:13 On first down Stafford throws incomplete intended for Johnson. Going for the backshoulder throw but Johnson couldn’t find the ball. Tarell Brown still in single coverage.
11:14 Next play Aldon Smith sacks Stafford in the end zone for the safety. 10-9 Lions, and they’ll have to punt the ball to the Niners. Upon review, it looks like Stafford flipped the ball away before his knee hit the ground, which should be intentional grounding. Either way, the Niners should get the two points and the ball.
11:18 Ginn Jr. returns the Safety punt 31 yards to the Detroit 48.
11:19 On first down Hunter rushes for four yards.
11:20 On second down Gore gets stopped for no gain, and Isaac Sopoaga gets called for a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty for ripping off the helmet of a Lion. The rip did not look intentional.
11:22 On second and 20, Smith completes a screen to Delanie Walker for a gain of five.
11:22 On third and 15 Smith escapes two sacks, steps up and scrambles for 3 yards. Lee punts 41 yards, and Chris Culliver downs the ball at the Detroit 9 yard line.
11:24 On first down, Best runs up the middle for a gain of 2. Patrick Willis smacks him in the hole.
11:24 On second down Stafford completes a nice pass to Titus Young for a gain of 14.
11:25 Next play, Stafford completes a pass to Pettigrew over the middle. Bowman gets called for a hold, and the Lions have first and ten from their 29.
11:26 On first down Best runs up the middle for a gain of seven.
11:26 Next play Stafford completes a first down pass to Heller for 9 yards.
11:27 Next play, Best runs around the left end for a gain of 6 yards.
11:27 Next play, Johnson beats Culliver on a quick slant and Stafford hits Megatron for a gain of 11 and a first down. The Lions are going with a hurry-up offense and it’s effective. The Niners defense is starting to look tired.
Two Minute Warning
11:30 On first down Stafford complete a 15 yard pass to Best.
11:31 Next play, Stafford throws a pass directly to Aldon Smith’s chest and he drops it.
11:32 Stafford completes a first down pass to Burleson, but the Lions get called for a 15-yard chop block penalty.
11:33 On second and 25 Stafford completes a screen to Best who picks up 8 yards. Third and 17.
11:33 Stafford tries another screen, this time to Pettigrew, but Whitner blows up the play and tackles Pettigrew for a three yard loss.
11:35 Hanson pushes a 52 yard field goal wide right. The Niners will take over from their 42 with 55 seconds left in the first half.
11:37 On first down Smith completes a short pass to Vernon Davis for two yards.
11:37 Next play, Smith completes a pass to Ginn Jr. over the middle for a gain of 18 yards, but Harbaugh doesn’t call a timeout.
11:37 Anthony Davis gets called for an illegal formation penalty. There are eight seconds left in the half and the Niners still have their timeout. First and 15 from the Detroit 43.
11:39 Smith completes a quick pass to Ginn Jr. on the right sideline for a gain of 6.
11:39 David Akers makes a 55-yard field goal. 12-10 Niners.
First half stats:
Alex Smith: 11/15, 77 yards passing, 1 fumble, 86.4 QB rating
Matt Stafford: 15/23, 110 yards passing, 1 TD, 90.9 QB rating
49ers: 11 for 99 yards.
Lions: 3 for 25 yards.
11:55 First and ten from their 18, Alex Smith misses Gore on a sweep pass to the right.
11:55 Next play, inside handoff to Bruce Miller, who picks up 4 yards.
11:56 On third and six, Alex Smith almost gets sacked, escapes and throws downfield but almost gets picked off. Adam Snyder gets called for a hold but it’s declined Lee punts, and the Lions will start at their 40 yard line.
11:59 On first down Best runs up the middle for a gain of one. Bowman hits him first in the hole.
12:01 On second and long Stafford completes a quick pass to Best. Gain of 21. First down on the SF 38.
12:01 Next play, Stafford throws a screen to Best, and he gains 32 yards. First and goal at the 6.
12:02 On first and goal Stafford throws the ball away before Justin Smith sacks him.
12:02 On second down, Stafford throws to Pettigrew in the end zone but the pass is off line.
12:03 On third down Stafford throws to Titus Young in the end zone but he misses him. Brown had the coverage. Hanson makes a 24-yard field goal. 13-12 Lions. It looks like the Niners can no longer stop the Lions between the 20s, but they’re stingy as ever in the red zone.
12:06 Ginn Jr. almost steps out of bounds at the two yard line, but he bring the kickoff out to the 22.
12:07 On first down Roman calls a wide receiver screen to Frank Gore and the Lions see it coming. Eric Wright tackles Gore for a loss of three.
12:08 Smith burns the first SF timeout of the second half. This series is not starting well for the Niners.
12:10 On second and 13 the refs blow their whistles and throw flags to stop the play as if their was a false start, but they say no penalty. Redo second down.
12:11 Frank Gore looks like he gets stopped behind the line of scrimmage, but he jukes Suh and picks up 55 yards. Add on a horse collar penalty at the end of the run. Half the distance to the goal. First down at the Lions 14.
12:13 On first down Hunter takes a pitch left for one yard. On second down Alex Smith throws a pass to Crabtree on the sideline which he catches, but he didn’t get both feet down. Jim Harbaugh is challenging this play. The announcer announces he believes the call won’t be reversed. If it isn’t, the Niners will have just one timeout left. Harbaugh must think Crabtree broke the plane of the end zone with the football.
12:17 After the review the incomplete call is upheld. Third and 9 from the Lions 13.
12:18 Smith completes a pass to a wide open Walker in the end zone, but he just drops the pass. Akers makes a 31-yard field goal. 15-13 Niners. Walker can get open but he struggles catching passes.
12:21 On first down Stafford fakes a handoff and complete a pass downfield to Calvin Johnson for a gain of 23.
12:22 Next play, Stafford completes a 5 yard pass to Pettigrew.
12:22 Next play, Best takes an inside handoff for a 4 yard gain. 3rd and 1.
12:23 Ray McDonald jumps offside. 5 yard penalty. First down Lions at the SF 42.
12:24 On first down Best loses a yard on a screen pass. Carlos Rogers made the tackle.
12:25 Next play, Stafford throws deep to Johnson but misses him. Culliver had the coverage all by himself. The ball was thrown out of bounds.
12:25 On third and 11, Whitner blitzes and forces Stafford to throw the ball away. He doesn’t flip it past the line of scrimmage, so he gets called for 10-yard intentional grounding penalty. The Lions punt. Ginn returns it 21 yards to the SF 31. 6:30 left to play in the third quarter.
12:28 Frank Gore has six carries for 121 yards. He’ll probably carry the ball on first down.
12:29 He does, and he loses three yards after trying to bounce the run outside to the left.
12:29 On second and 13 the Lions blitz. Smith tries to throw the ball quick, but Willie Young bats the pass down.
12:30 On third and very long, Alex Smith takes a five-step drop, steps up and throws very high to Crabtree over the middle. Crabtree leaps and makes a spectacular catch for a gain of 27.
12:31 First and ten from the Detroit 45, Smith throws deep to Crabtree but Crab stumbles and misses the pass.
12:32 On second down Alex Smith throws very high to Crabtree, but this time he can’t catch the pass. Third and ten.
12:33 Smith holds the ball too long and takes the sack from Tulloch. Lee punts, and the Lions call for a fair catch at their 9 yard line.
12:36 On first down Justin Smith sacks Stafford at the four yard line. Loss of 5. He just bull rushed his man.
12:36 Next play, Bowman tackles Best after a gain of one. Third and 14.
12:37 Stafford throws the ball over Best’s head on a screen. Smith blew the play up himself. Lions punt from their end zone. Ginn Jr. calls for a fair catch at the Lions 43.
12:38 On first down the refs call a false start on Justin Peelle, but it looked like an offside to me.
12:39 On first and 15 Gore takes the inside handoff and gains four yards.
12:40 Smith steps up and throws a pass 1o feet high to Crabtree over the middle. The Lions make the interception and return the ball to the SF 49. 1:43 to go in the quarter.
12:40 On first down Morris cuts back and picks up 11 yards on a rush.
12:41 Next play, Morris gains three up the middle.
12:42 Next play, Stafford completes a quick slant to Burleson for a gain of 14 and another first down. Ball at the SF 22.
12:45 It seems like Alex Smith has reverted to form this week. He’s been throwing passes high all second half.
12:45 Stafford incomplete on first down.
12:45 Next play, Willis breaks up a pass from Stafford to Pettigrew. But Goldson kicked the ball after the play and gets called for a 5 yard delay of game penalty. That was beyond boneheaded.
12:47 On third down Johnson beats Culliver and Stafford completes the pass to Megatron for 9 yards a first down.
12:48 On second and goal from the 5, Stafford completes a touchdown pass to Burleson, but the refs call the pass incomplete because Burleson didn’t maintain possession. Jim Schwartz is challenging the ruling of the play.
12:53 After the NFL official explained on television that the call shouldn’t be overruled, the refs overrule the call on the field. Touchdown Lions.
12:54 Lions go for two. Stafford throws to Johnson but Rogers has good coverage and the pass falls incomplete. 19-15 Lions.
12:56 Ginn Jr. returns the kickoff from the back of the end zone to the SF 17.
12:57 On first down Smith steps up, takes a hit from Cliff Avril, and completes a pass to Crabtree on the right sideline for a gain of 11.
12:58 The Niners run an end around to Ginn Jr., who picks up 12 yards and first down. Smith made a nice block on the play.
12:59 On first and ten from the SF 40, Smith throws over Peelle’s head.
12:59 On second and 10 Frank Gore runs off left tackle for a gain of six.
1:00 On third and four Smith completes a pass to Crabtree at the line of scrimmage. Crabtree picks up three yards after the catch. Fourth and 1. Lee in to punt. Lions fair catch at their eight yard line.
1:02 Adam Snyder has a stinger. Parys Haralson has a hamstring injury. Vernon Davis has two catches for eight yards.
1:04 On first down Stafford fakes a handoff and hits Johnson on a slant. Johnson bounces off a couple tacklers. Gain of 41.
1:04 Pettigrew gets called for the false start.
1:05 On first and 15 Best gains a yard rushing up the middle.
1:05 Next play, McDonald bats down Stafford’s pass.
1:06 On third and long the ball slips out of Stafford’s hand as he tries to throw. Lions punt. Detroit almost pins the Niners at their 1 yard line, but the ref calls a touchback. First and ten for the Niners at their 20 with 9:28 to go in the fourth quarter.
1:09 On first down Smith sees an open Crabtree over the middle but throws the ball way high again.
1:10 On second and ten, Ginn Jr. takes an end around for a nine yard gain. Third and one.
1:11 Smith tosses the ball to Hunter but he gets stopped for no gain.
1:11 Lee punts. Culliver gets called for going out of bounds. That’s the Niners 15th penalty of the day. Lions ball at their 40.
1:13 On first down Aldon Smith hits Stafford and forces a fumble. Backus recovers the ball. Loss of 18.
1:14 Next play, Morris runs up the middle for a gain of three.
1:14 On third and 25 Stafford completes a pass to Burleson for a gain of 11. Lions punt. Ginn returns the ball 40 yards to the Lions 35 yard line.
1:16 On first down Kendall Hunter runs off right tackle for a gain of 9.
1:17 On second and one Gore runs up the middle for a gain of one and a first down.
1:17 On first down Hunter run off right guard for nine yards.
1:18 Next play, Gore runs up the middle for 9 yards. First and goal from the seven yard line.
1:18 On first and goal, Gore tries to run up the middle and he loses three yards.
1:19 Next play, Smith completes a screen to Crabtree who picks up four yards. Third and goal from the six.
Two Minute Warning
1:22 The Niners have one timeout and two plays to score a touchdown.
1:22 On third and goal Smith gets hit and throws incomplete. Jackson came unblocked.
1:23 On fourth and goal Smith throws a quick slant to Delanie Walker who bulls into the end zone for a touchdown. They’re review the play to see if the ball broke the plane of the end zone before Walker’s right knee hit the ground. It looks like his knee hit at the same time the ball crossed.
1:26 After the review, the refs confirm the TD ruling on the field. 22-19 Niners. The Alex Smith of years past would not have made that pass. Huge play for him. Also, great catch and run for Walker, who had a tough game receiver – he’d already dropped one TD. Great play call by Roman to go back to Walker on the biggest play of the game.
1:29 Lions start their drive at their 21 with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter.
1:29 On first down Stafford completes a pass to Pettigrew for five yards.
1:30 Next play, Stafford throws incomplete to Young on the right sideline. Aldon Smith had pressure.
1:30 On third and five Stafford throws to Pettigrew who drops the pass. Bowman had tight coverage and appeared to bat away the ball.
1:31 On fourth and five Stafford throws incomplete to Burleson. Rogers looked like he interfered with Burleson by cutting off the route, but the refs don’t call it, and the Niners have the ball at the Lions 25.
1:32 Gore runs up the middle on first down for a gain of one and the Lions call their first timeout. 1:12 left in the fourth quarter.
1:33 Next play, Gore runs up the middle for a gain of one and the Lions call their second timeout. 1:09 left in the fourth quarter. 3rd and 8.
1:35 Gore runs up the middle for four yards. The Lions call their final timeout with 1:06 left in regulation. David Akers is on the field to attempt a 37-yard field goal.
1:36 Akers drills it. 25-19 Niners with 1:02 left in the game.
1:38 Akers kick the ball off out of the back of the end zone. Lions start their drive at their 20.
1:38 On first down Justin Smith and Ray McDonald sack Stafford for a loss of eight.
1:38 On third and ten Stafford throws incomplete downfield. Fourth and ten with six seconds left. Harbaugh calls his last timeout.
1:41 Stafford completes a pass to Johnson downfield, and he tries to lateral the ball but it falls to the turf and the Niners win 25-19. Harbaugh is out of his skull with excitement. He sprints across the field and almost untucks his shirt so violently it looks like he’s going to take it off. He slams his hand into Schwartz’s hand and gives him a quick hug, but keeps moving. Schwartz gives Harbaugh a definite what’s-your-deal look.