(Sept. 17, 2012) -- “They really sucked it up down the stretch,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said of his 49ers club that improved to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2009 and the 18th time in franchise history. “We knew it would be a tough, close, aggressive, bell-ringing game and it was,” he said.
Alex Smith, the eighth-year signal caller tossed a pair of touchdowns to Vernon Davis from 21 and 23 yards out. Frank Gore pounded out 89 yards on the ground, including a 1-yard rushing touchdown on one of his 17 carries. Not to be forgotten or outdone, San Francisco’s defense held the Lions to a late Brandon Pettigrew touchdown and four Jason Hanson field goals in a winning effort.
In the end, the 49ers outgained the Lions, 349-296, while picking up 24 first downs.
Many on the team pointed to the last offensive touchdown drive as the biggest sign of San Francisco’s offensive development.
Michael Crabtree caught three passes for first downs, setting up an impressive 23-yard pass hookup from Smith to Davis that put the 49ers up 27-12.
Smith finished the game 20-of-31 with 226 passing yards and two touchdowns. He had no turnovers, finishing with a 107.7 quarterback rating.
Conversely, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was held in check, completing 19-of-32 passes for 230 yards with one interception and a 78.9 quarterback rating. The 49ers also sacked Stafford twice, while holding the Lions to 82 rushing yards on 26 carries.
San Francisco needed just four plays to get on the scoreboard when Davis hauled in a 21-yard, over-the-shoulder touchdown grab on a perfectly thrown pass from Smith.