49ers vs. Lions: Previewing Week 16 for San Francisco

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The 49ers will have to contend with a dangerous Lions receiving game in Week 16. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

By the Numbers

Both the 49ers and Lions are bad sub-.500 teams looking more at 2016 than how they can improve with two games remaining on this year’s schedule.

And while both franchises have endured their fair shares of struggles this season, comparatively, each team’s strength is the other’s weakness.

Detroit’s offense, still benefiting from the play of standout wide receiver Calvin Johnson, ranks No. 19 in the league with 302 points scored. As Niner fans know all too well, the 49ers’ struggling offense remains dead last and exactly 100 points fewer than the Lions on the year.

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Not surprisingly, Detroit is perfectly capable of moving the ball through the air. Johnson and fellow wideout Golden Tate have combined for 1,720 of those receiving yards and will remain the primary threats at quarterback Matthew Stafford’s disposal.

While the Lions’ lackluster ground game doesn’t inspire much fear, remember the 49ers gave up over 200 yards rushing against the league’s worst running game — the Cleveland Browns — two weeks ago.

Last week, San Francisco faced off against a good Bengals defense. Detroit doesn’t boast anything of the sort even if the 49ers are inept at putting points up on the board.

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Casual observation points out how the Lions give up points but not necessarily a lot of yardage. On the flip side, the 49ers defense tends to bend but not always break.

Will this mean the game’s outcome will likely be decided by which team executes better, both on offense and defense, within the red zone?

It’s likely.

Next: Blaine Gabbert vs. Matthew Stafford