FINAL, 49ers 30-27: The Lions get the ball back at their own 16 with 1:08 remaining in regulation but no timeouts. It’s too tall an order for Matthew Stafford and friends, who advance no further than their 39, as the 49ers’ defense holds in a huge spot.
The Lions have a new King 😂 pic.twitter.com/NKB3Tstypo— NBCSAuthentic (@NBCSAuthentic) September 16, 2018
Fourth quarter, 2:15, 49ers 30-27: A defensive holding penalty on third-and-2 bails out Jimmy Garoppolo, who had thrown an interception, which Tracy Walker had returned inside the 49ers’ 10. Quandre Diggs was the guilty party, and he’ll likely kick himself for it.
Garoppolo started San Francisco's drive by hanging in the pocket and waiting for Pierre Garcon to come free, then throwing a 13-yard dart to his wide receiver while taking a hit. But the third-down throw is one Jimmy G definitely wanted back, and as luck would have it, he got it back.
Fourth quarter, 3:27, 49ers 30-27: Stafford misfires on yet another deep ball, this time to a wide-open Kenny Golladay. Quite likely the difference in this game right now.
Stafford's missed a few deep shots today, that one to Golladay. A couple to Marv earlier. Hasn't been sharp. Hits 1 or 2 of those and it's a different ballgame.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 16, 2018
Stafford does connect with Golladay on a 21-yard throw to the 49ers’ 7, and three plays later, the Lions QB hits tight end Michael Roberts, who makes an athletic catch in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
The 49ers desperately need some first downs and/or a TD to put away this game. The Lions have momentum and all three of their timeouts right now.
Fourth quarter, 6:08, 49ers 30-20: The 49ers dodge a bullet as Jamal Agnew returns a punt 73 yards for a Lions touchdown, but it’s called back on two block-in-the-back penalties.
The Lions have the ball at their own 21, although they’re thin at running back because of injury and ejection.
Theo Riddick questionable with an ankle injury. With Blount ejected, that leaves Kerryon Johnson as the Lions' only healthy RB.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 16, 2018
Fourth quarter, 8:36, 49ers 30-20: LeGarrette Blount didn’t like how 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee treated Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on a run to the sideline. Blount’s reaction cost him the game.
LaGarrette Blount is ejected for coming off the sideline to level Elijah Lee, who had a borderline hit on Matthew Stafford at the sideline. There was no penalty on Lee.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
The penalty put the Lions in a third-and-17 situation, but Stafford -- who again missed on a home-run ball to a wide-open Marvin Jones earlier in the drive -- finds Golden Tate for 67 yards. Two plays later, Stafford hits Jones on a 5-yard touchdown pass, and the Lions still are in this game.
Matthew Stafford finds Ahkello Witherspoon in coverage against Marvin Jones and delivers the TD pass. As the Vikings did last week, the Lions aren’t even really testing Richard Sherman.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Cassius Marsh sacked Stafford on the play before the TD pass, but he also was called for a facemask penalty, negating his effort.
Fourth quarter, 11:21, 49ers 30-13: The 49ers avert disaster when Dante Pettis fumbles a jet-sweep handoff from Jimmy Garoppolo on second-and-7 at the Lions’ 15. Pettis recovers the loose ball, and a third-down throw to him also falls incomplete.
Robbie Gould comes on for a 36-yard field goal that makes it a three-score game. Time is running low on the Lions.
Fourth quarter, 14:43, 49ers 27-13: Matthew Stafford just misses Marvin Jones down the right sideline for what would’ve been a big gainer, and the Lions again have to punt.
The 49ers have the ball at their own 48 and could put the game out of reach with a score on this drive.
Third quarter, 0:52, 49ers 27-13: Pierre Garcon gives Matt Brieda a personal escort down the field once the running back hits the second level of the Lions’ defense on a stretch play, and it results in a 66-yard touchdown.
That’s a three-play, 97-yard drive for a score. Wow. Breida already has 138 yards on just 10 carries. The yardage is a single-game career high, and the 66-yard TD doubles his previous longest run.
Third quarter, 5:47, 49ers 20-13: San Francisco’s drive stalls at the Detroit 45, so Bradley Pinion comes on to punt and pins the Lions at their 14.
Detroit has a big injury concern, too, as cornerback Darius Slay left for medical evaluation after a helmet-to-helmet hit with 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Slay was evaulated for a concussion in last week’s season-opening loss to the Jets but returned to that game. Not having Slay hasn’t immediately affected the Lions in this game, though.
Lions rolling with Teez Tabor and Nevin Lawson at the outside CBs now, and 49ers have yet to challenge them in the 2 plays since Slay got hurt.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 16, 2018
Third quarter, 8:46, 49ers 20-13: The Lions return the kickoff near midfield and quickly drive to the 49ers’ 18, but back-to-back holding penalties kill all momentum.
Matt Prater splits the uprights from 43 yards out, and it’s a one-score game again.
Third quarter, 13:17, 49ers 20-10: And the 49ers score a touchdown anyway, as Jimmy Garoppolo finds Garrett Celek from 11 yards out. Huge start to the half for San Francisco.
Third quarter, 14:47, 49ers 13-10: D.J. Reed takes the second-half opening kickoff all the way for a 49ers touchdown, but it’s called back on a facemask penalty, and San Francisco has to start on the Detroit 26. Bad break for the 49ers.
In a rarity, the facemask call came against Reed for stiff-arming a defender in the face. Typically, players on offense aren't flagged for that.
Officially, it was a 90-yard kickoff return for #49ers rookie D.J. Reed.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Halftime, 49ers 13-10: Matthew Stafford converts a third-and-10 with an 18-yard pass to Marvin Jones to keep Detroit moving, and a Fred Warner facemask penalty moves the Lions to the 49ers’ 30. Three more Stafford passes put the Lions at the 49ers’ 9, but they run out of time, and Matt Prater has to trot on for a 27-yard field goal with 3 seconds left.
Lions coach Matt Patricia had three timeouts with two minutes left, but he oddly chose not to call any of them as the 49ers drained the clock deep in their own territory on their previous drive.
The biggest story of the first half is the four sacks taken by Jimmy Garoppolo, three of them in the red zone and one deep in his own territory. He hit the half 10-of-14 passing for 119 yards, but he has to feel like he left points on the field.
And so ends the first half, in which we learned mostly that Jimmy Garoppolo is easy to find in his own pocket.— Ray Ratto (@RattoIndy) September 16, 2018
Second quarter, 0:49, 49ers 13-7: Jimmy Garoppolo takes another ill-advised sack, pinning the 49ers at their own 4, and they narrowly avoid giving up a safety on a third-down passing play.
4 different LB’s with sacks for Lions in 1st half. I told @wjrradio before the game that the Lions had to scheme it up and blitz to get pressure today without Ziggy Ansah. They are doing just that. #DETvsSF— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) September 16, 2018
Bradley Pinion’s punt, plus a Lions penalty, puts Detroit at its 34 with little time before half.
Second quarter, 2:00, 49ers 13-7: The Lions seemingly convert on third-and-4 at their own 43, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan challenges the play. Replay review shows Golden Tate’s knee was down ahead of the first-down marker on K’Waun Williams’ tackle.
So Detroit has to punt on fourth-and-2 after the two-minute warning.
Second quarter, 4:55, 49ers 13-7: Matthew Stafford tries to make something happen on a third-and-3 play at the Lions’ 26, but 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee does instead, stripping the Detroit quarterback of the football.
Elijah Lee with the sack, forced fumble, and Cassius Marsh with the recovery. The #49ers take over at the 16.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh definitely liked what he saw from Lee on the play.
Robert Saleh = HYPED pic.twitter.com/HdiQ5wDDWl— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 16, 2018
Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense go three-and-out, though, and the 49ers settle for a 42-yard Robbie Gould field goal. Ex-49er Eli Harold sacked Garoppolo on third down to force the field-goal try.
Jimmy Garoppolo is 10 of 12 for 119 yards with one TD and no INTs. His passer rating is 135.8. But he has been sacked three times for 27 yards. All avoidable.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Second quarter, 8:06, 49ers 10-7: The 49ers can’t do much with their next possession and have to punt after five plays. Raheem Mostert absolutely lit up Lions return man Jamal Agnew at the 19 on the punt.
Second quarter, 10:28, 49ers 10-7: Matthew Stafford doesn’t see a wide-open Kenny Golladay on third-and-3 at the Lions’ 32, and Detroit goes three-and-out. After a punt and a penalty, the 49ers will start their next drive at their own 15.
Also, Lions coach Matt Patricia apparently is upset about something …
I wonder if Patricia was arguing about the pace of play, that the 49ers were snapping with officials not giving him enough time to get subs in. Referee wasn't even set on that last play when ball was snapped. https://t.co/82QCK7B4EV— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 16, 2018
Second quarter, 12:07, 49ers 10-7: Kendrick Bourne couldn’t have been more open on second-and-goal and catches a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo. Bourne, a wide receiver, lined up in the backfield – certainly not a look that the Lions’ defense was expected.
The 49ers twice faced long down-and-distance situations on the drive, but Garoppolo hit George Kittle for a 17-yard pass to the Lions’ 30 on second-and-13, and Lions cornerback Darius Slay committed a pass-interference penalty on first-and-20 a few plays after that.
End of the first quarter, Lions 7-3: The 49ers are driving, thanks to a nice run-pass mix, and will face second-and-13 at the Lions’ 47 to start the second quarter. The teams will flip the field now.
First quarter, 2:45, Lions 7-3: Matthew Stafford drives Detroit to the San Francisco 30, where he finds a wide-open Kenny Golladay for a nifty touchdown pass. Golladay made an athletic move to stretch for the pylon, and the TD was confirmed on review.
That was a great play design there by Jim Bob Cooter and Golladay really sold the block first. #DETvsSF— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) September 16, 2018
Blown coverage in the 49ers’ secondary. Ahkello Witherspoon tries to catch up to Kenny Golladay, who appears to have scored on a 30-yard Matthew Stafford pass. Referee Shawn Hochuli is going under the hood to confirm.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
The 49ers could have stopped the Lions’ drive before it really started in Detroit territory, but Elijah Lee -- starting in place of injured linebacker Malcolm Smith -- couldn’t bring down Theo Riddick in the open field.
DeForest Buckner is rushing from RDE on third and 7. Solomon Thomas with pressure up the middle, but Elijah Lee’s missed tackle enables Lions to pick up a first down.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
First quarter, 6:18, 49ers 3-0: The 49ers drive to the Lions’ 10, but they have to settle for a 45-yard Robbie Gould field goal after Jimmy Garoppolo takes sacks on first and second down.
Coverage sack loses 8 yards. Garoppolo has to get rid of the ball.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Mike McGlinchey gets beaten for the sack. Now, the 49ers are at the 27.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
Not ideal, but the 49ers will take the points.
First quarter, 10:52, 0-0: And the 49ers’ defense holds, as DeForest Buckner shoots the gap and stops the third-down run. Trent Taylor makes a fair catch of the Lions’ punt at the 49ers’ 10, and that’s where Jimmy G and Co. will set up shop on their first drive.
First quarter, 11:34, 0-0: The Lions receive the kickoff and start at their own 24, then quickly move near midfield on a Matthew Stafford-to-Kenny Golladay pass and four consecutive runs by LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson.
Detroit has third-and-3 at the 49ers’ 49-yard line, and San Francisco calls a timeout to set its defense.
1:03 p.m.: The 49ers have taken the field, and their quarterback is fired up.
12:38 p.m.: Kendrick Bourne is ready, Faithful.
Big mood pic.twitter.com/XQLqC60HUp— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 16, 2018
12:27 p.m.: Soon, Niners fans. Soon …
Squad is ready. pic.twitter.com/BfXyd4X7w1— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 16, 2018
12:15 p.m.: Niners fans who want the team to add wide receiver Josh Gordon will like what general manager John Lynch had to say before the game ...
John Lynch said 49ers have made a call on Josh Gordon and team is doing its due dilligence.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
11:55 a.m.: Flip over to NBC Sports Bay Area Plus at noon for 49ers Pregame Live.
Coming up in 10 minutes on NBC Sports Bay Area PLUS, #49ersPregameLive with myself, Greg Papa, Hall of Fame nominee @JeffGarciaJGFA, @DonteWhitner, @Laura_Britt_ from Levi’s Stadium. We’ll get you set with all you need to know for kickoff. pic.twitter.com/6sSHqEd2fa— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 16, 2018
11:45 a.m.: Good news for 49ers fan – Jimmy Garoppolo looks as crisp as the beautiful day here at Levi’s.
11:40 a.m.: The 49ers’ inactives are in, and there aren’t any surprises, really.
Guard Michael Person (foot) and safety Adrian Colbert (hamstring) were listed as questionable, but it appears they’ll play.
The 49ers also caught a break, as defensive end Ziggy Ansah will not play for the Lions. He had been listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.
Ansah said Friday he was optimistic he would play today, but he was labored in the little bit that he went through practice. Would expect a lot of Romeo Okwara today.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 16, 2018
Lions running back LaGarrette Blount also was questionable with a shoulder injury, but he’s on the active roster.
11:12 a.m.: Rookie Dante Pettis will make his first NFL start today, and if this sweet grab during warmups is any indication, he's more than ready.
The toe drag 🤤 pic.twitter.com/22jDjBu0kf— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 16, 2018
One receiver who isn't on NFL field is Josh Gordon, but he's certainly on 49ers fans' mind after this morning's NFL Media report that he'd like to come to San Francisco.
Our Ray Ratto doesn't see a Gordon-to-49ers union happening, though.
11 a.m.: We're two hours from kickoff, so join Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt on the field at Levi's Stadium for 49ers First Look as they dissect the 49ers' home opener against the Lions and answer your questions during warmups.
Click here to watch and submit your questions while you watch the 49ers take the field.
10:22 a.m.: As we wait for injury updates and inactives, be sure to check out Matt Maiocco's four 49ers players to watch for today's home opener against the Lions.
7:45 a.m.: Jimmy Garoppolo has the taste of losing in his mouth for the first time as an NFL starter. He’ll try to rinse that out today when the Detroit Lions visit his 49ers at Levi’s Stadium for a 1:05 p.m. showdown.
Garoppolo stumbled out of the gates last Sunday, throwing three interceptions against the vaunted Vikings defense in a 24-16 loss. The Lions’ defense isn’t so celebrated, despite the presence of former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, whose unit allowed rookie QB Sam Darnold to shred them in a 48-17 Jets win after a pick-six on his first NFL throw.
Matthew Stafford, the Lions’ veteran quarterback, enters the game needing some confidence after he threw four interceptions in that loss. Detroit doesn’t have overwhelming talent at running back, though, and LeGarrette Blount is nursing a shoulder injury, so Stafford most likely will sling the ball 30 or more times again. He fell below that mark just four times last season.
Stay tuned to this live blog throughout the morning for pregame updates, then during the game for instant highlights and analysis from Santa Clara to see if Jimmy G can get the 49ers back on track. He probably will since it’s bad form to lose on your bobblehead day, right?
Off the field, those Josh Gordon rumors should keep 49ers fans thinking about the possibilities.
This Sunday, be sure to watch 49ers Pregame Live at 12 p.m. and 49ers Postgame Live immediately after the game on NBC Sports Bay Area and live streaming on the NBC Sports app. Greg Papa, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt will have everything you need to know from the 49ers’ home opener.