49ers vs. Lions: 5 Individual Matchups to Watch in Week 16

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The 49ers face off against the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit for Week 16. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber- US PRESSWIRE

The San Francisco 49ers visit the Detriot Lions in Week 16. Niner Noise takes a look at five players from the 49ers whose efforts will play a critical role in determining the team’s outcome.

The 4-10 San Francisco 49ers will spend their weekend after Christmas heading to Detroit to take on the 5-9 Lions at Ford Field this Sunday.

For San Francisco, the 2015 season can’t come to a close soon enough. The year has been marked by a myriad of controversy, changeover and underachievement covered by a layer of losing — eerily emulating 49ers teams of the late 2000s.

Still, head coach Jim Tomsula’s squad would like to end the season with some positive momentum. The Lions are already trying to do this,  having won four of their last six contests.

Can the 49ers discover some late-season magic to satisfy the team’s holiday cravings?

If so, San Francisco’s prospects for its second road win of the season will likely hinge on a select group of players and their respective impacts within the game.

Obviously, quarterback Blaine Gabbert will be one of those players looking to bounce back from back-to-back ugly efforts in Cleveland and at home versus the Bengals over the last two weeks. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who leads the 49ers with an even 100 tackles this year, is another player who always commands attention.

But what about some of the other positions on the field? What other 49ers command attention when San Francisco faces off against Detroit?

Let’s take a look at five players to watch in Week 16.

Next: Left Tackle Joe Staley