Lions vs. 49ers: Week 2 preview for San Francisco

Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images
Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images /
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San Francisco 49ers Detroit Lions 2018 Week 2 preview
Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images /

The San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions in the Niners’ first home game of the 2018 NFL regular season. Niner Noise previews the 49ers’ Week 2 matchup, including key stats, players to watch, X-factors, injury news and how to watch the game live.

After a tough loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers travel back to Levi’s Stadium in Week 2 for the team’s home opener of the 2018 NFL regular season.

Check out Niner Noise’s game recap and post-game grades and analysis for a breakdown of the 49ers’ Week 1 matchup with the Vikings, including highlights of the game and full position grades.

Today, the Niners will face a Detroit Lions team that began the year with high hopes after barely missing the playoffs in 2017, but has since fallen into a state of turmoil after suffering a home blowout to the New York Jets in Week 1.

Whether or not the Jets’ defenders knew a portion of the Lions’ signals or play calls prior to the snap, quarterback Matthew Stafford played poorly last week, and will look to rebound against a San Francisco defense that is still trying to find ways to create quarterback pressure without a premier edge rusher.

After Stafford tossed four interceptions in Week 1 — with backup QB Matt Cassell adding another — look for the Lions to focus on limiting mistakes through the air in today’s game. Unfortunately for Detroit, their running game was non-existent against the Jets, ranking last in the NFL with 39 total rushing yards and 2.6 yards per rush.

The Lions need to build a lead by playing mistake-free football through the air, while also establishing the run against a stout 49ers run defense, led by the emergence of rookie linebacker Fred Warner.

While this sounds like a difficult task, Detroit has a trio of playmaking wideouts who give the team the ability to score from anywhere on the field. And given that the 49ers turned the ball over four times against the Vikings, the Lions could easily find themselves in a favorable game script if San Francisco fails to properly protect the ball.

Still, if the 49ers play to their potential — and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo returns to form — today’s home opener is a game that San Francisco should win.

Per OddsShark, the 49ers are now favored in today’s matchup by six points, after opening as 3.5-point favorites.

Let’s break down some important statistics for the San Francisco 49ers’ second game of the 2018 NFL regular season: