WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — It doesn’t happen often, but there was a moment in the 49ers' 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions when Trent Williams was confused.
The veteran left tackle knew Jimmy Garoppolo had taken a hit and was at the bottom of the pile. Williams’ concern was the safety of his quarterback.
As the eight-time All-Pro Bowl lineman extricated himself from the group of players on the ground, Williams heard the roar of the crowd and was almost certain that the Lions had intercepted the ball.
After all, this was an away game at Ford Field. Expectations were that cheering that loud should be for the home team. Thankfully for Williams, he was wrong.
It was a 79-yard touchdown strike to Deebo Samuel.
“Jimmy got rocked,” Williams said on Thursday. “I was like damn, I was really just looking to see if he was OK. Somehow me and my dude ended up on top of the pile after he already threw it. I was like damn, our quarterback is under like five people.”
On the ground, Williams obviously had no ability to see what was transpiring downfield. His priority was to check on the health of his quarterback.
“I just wanted to make sure he was alright, and then I hear our fans roar. I’m like, ’Dang.’ We were in Detroit. It’s supposed to an away game so you don’t hear a roar like that on the road. It kind of confused me for a second.
“I thought maybe we threw a pick and then of course I look up and see Deebo striking down the field. Oh, man. It worked out perfectly but I made sure my guy was OK.”
The 49ers Faithful travel well, and the season opener in Motor City was no exception. From the moment the gates opened to fans, a sea of red jerseys were highly visible in the stands. When the 49ers racked up a 28-point lead in the third quarter, there were very few blue jerseys left in the stadium.
Williams' goal is to never let his quarterback hit the ground, let alone be at the bottom of a pile of linemen. But at least this time, there was no harm done.