The San Francisco 49ers, during their game against the visiting Detroit Lions, began rather slowly – perhaps a result of the hangover from last week when they were eliminated from playoff contention. But they got their act together in the second half, as turnovers, along with two touchdowns scored about six minutes apart, helped San Francisco make short work of Detroit 20-6.
But to be fair, the Lions had a very green Drew Stanton at quarterback, and it showed in his play as he was replaced by Daunte Culpepper halfway through the fourth quarter. After a pair of Ricky Schmitt field goals (33 and 39 yards, respectively), Smith led the 49ers on a third quarter drive before he got the ball to Vernon Davis for his 12th touchdown catch of the season, one shy of San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates’ record for tight ends.
On the next drive, Smith found a wide-open Gore on fourth-and-1. Gore scampered to the 6 on a 48-yard gain. Two plays later, he dived in from the 1 to make it 20-3. In addition to the rushing touchdown, Gore rushed for 1,000 yards for the fourth consecutive season – a first for a 49ers running back. The Lions didn’t score again until Jason Hanson kicked another field goal late in the fourth quarter after Culpepper came in and the game had long been decided.
Smith had a decent effort for the 49ers, going 20-of-31 for 230 yards and a TD while Stanton went 11-of-21 for 130 yards and 3 interceptions; Culpepper relieved Stanton late, going 7-of-12 for 51 yards. Gore led the 49ers rushing attack with 71 yards on 28 carries and a score while catching 4 passes for 81 yards; Maurice Morris led the Lions with 37 yards on 18 carries.
In addition to Gore’s receptions, Michael Crabtree caught 4 passes for 68 yards while Calvin Johnson led the Lions with 7 receptions for 96 yards while rushing twice for 32 yards. San Francisco (7-8), in addition to seeking a .500 record, finish their season when they travel to St. Louis next Sunday to take on the Rams while Detroit (2-13) complete their season at Ford Field agianst the Chicago Bears – also next Sunday.