49ers vs. Lions live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 2 game

49ers vs. Lions live: Score, highlights, analysis from NFL Week 2 game

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 49ers improve to 1-1 on the season and next will face the red-hot 2-0 Chiefs in Kansas City.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh definitely liked what he saw from Lee on the play.

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.

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 …

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Lions will receive the opening kickoff, and we're ready to rock at Levi's Stadium.

12:38 p.m.: Kendrick Bourne is ready, Faithful.

12:27 p.m.: Soon, Niners fans. Soon …

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 ...

11:55 a.m.: Flip over to NBC Sports Bay Area Plus at noon for 49ers Pregame Live.

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.

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.

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.

How Emmanuel Sanders trade helped 49ers, likely hurt Patriots' offense


How Emmanuel Sanders trade helped 49ers, likely hurt Patriots' offense

Two of the NFL’s best teams in 2019, the New England Patriots and 49ers, both faced a similar problem as the trade deadline approached.

The seemingly well-oiled machines had identified an identical issue: A lack of consistent play from the wide receivers.

While both teams attempted to rectify their passing-game issues at the deadline -- the 49ers dealt a pair of draft picks to the Denver Broncos for Emmanuel Sanders while the Patriots used a second-round pick to acquire Mohamed Sanu from Atlanta -- the results weren’t exactly analogous for the two contenders.

Sanders just completed a dominant performance in New Orleans, catching seven passes for 157 yards and a touchdown -- he threw for one, too. Meanwhile, Sanu caught just one pass for 13 yards in Week 14 as New England suffered a home loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Since Oct. 22, the day both players found their new homes, Sanders is averaging 10.44 receiving yards per target. Sanu? The former Falcon is averaging just 4.66 yards per target.

The 49ers reportedly balked at the price Atlanta wanted for Sanu, but the Patriots might have been better off bringing Sanders in, according to The Athletic’s Mike Sando.

"Sanu has been a solid receiver for a long time, but not as much of a downfield threat. Over the past four seasons, Sanders holds a 67-44 edge over Sanu in passes gaining more than 15 yards, despite Sanu playing four additional games. Sanu could have been a natural fit in San Francisco given that Shanahan was previously his offensive coordinator in Atlanta. He might even be flourishing there, given San Francisco’s superior surrounding talent, including George Kittle. The fit has been questionable in New England.”

The 49ers also have an obvious advantage in fielding George Kittle, who continues to cement his status as one of the NFL’s top tight-ends week in and week out.

[RELATED: Where 49ers, Raiders stand in NFL power rankings now]

But imagine what Josh McDaniels, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady could have whipped up with Emmanuel Sanders stretching the field.

This might go down as a rare mistake in player personnel from the Patriots’ front office, and it also might just be the move that propels the 49ers into playing February football.

Chris Simms breaks down George Kittle's catch in 49ers' win vs. Saints

Chris Simms breaks down George Kittle's catch in 49ers' win vs. Saints

George Kittle made the most significant play of the NFL’s Week 14 slate, catching a short fourth-down pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and willing his way into field-goal range.

The herculean effort from Kittle set kicker Robbie Gould up for a game-winning 30-yard field goal to give San Francisco a crucial 48-46 victory in New Orleans that propelled the 49ers back to the top of the NFC standings.

Unsurprisingly, coach Kyle Shanahan diagrammed this play for Kittle to be the No. 1 option, and that’s exactly what happened.

“The rookie [C.J.] Gardner-Johnson is matched up 1-on-1 with Kittle,” NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said. “The beauty of this play is, a lot of times the 49ers will run an in-breaking route off of this, but here he had the option to break out and he breaks out.

“Gardner-Johnson, who’s kind of laying inside for it, now is at a disadvantage and he’s trailing behind and that becomes the completion to George Kittle.”

[RELATED: Injuries continue to pile up for 49ers after extended trip]

Kittle’s wise decision to break outside put San Francisco back into the driver’s seat for the NFC playoffs, but the 49ers will need to keep the momentum going as the final weeks of the season roll on in order to secure the home-field advantage NFL teams so desperately crave come postseason time.