Vernon Davis, Frank Gore Strike Again As Niners Improve To 2-0 With Win Over Lions


September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley (74), quarterback Alex Smith (11), and center Jonathan Goodwin (59) celebrate after a touchdown pass by Smith during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

As a San Francisco Giants fan, I’m completely used to torture. Now, as a 49ers fan, I’m learning about a whole new kind of torture.

San Francisco held on to beat the Lions 27-19 and improve to 2-0. The 49ers have played two great teams to open the season (both made the playoffs last year), but they have beaten each team. Why?

Because Alex Smith, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis have boosted the Niner offense, while Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Dashon Goldson have anchored a spectacular Niner defense.

Smith has been making good throws, and while shredding his title of “game-manager,” he has made some key throws into some tight spaces. Because of that, he has 437 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a completion percentage of 70.2 this year.

Smith threw two touchdowns and Frank Gore ran for another one, powering the Niners to a huge win. Arizona is also 2-0, while the Rams and Seahawks are both 1-1. So, to stay on top of the division, the Niners will have to keep winning. They’ve done exactly that against two quality opponents, and the road will get significantly easier from here. San Francisco plays the Vikings and the Jets next, two teams that will get terrorized by Davis and the Niners.

Davis has continued to get open, and he is catching passes. He got open on a play-action pass late in the 4th quarter, and Smith did a nice job faking a run and freezing Ndamukong Suh. Smith lobbed a pass to Davis, who caught the pass, ran down the sideline, cut back inside and scored. Davis got open on a sideline pass in the first quarter, and Smith hit him for a touchdown.

While Smith was great, he was definitely aided by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, who helped keep Detroit’s defense off-balance. Gore ran for 89 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while he broke a lot of tackles by slipping through holes and picking up a ton of first downs. Hunter had some nice carries as well, and Mario Manningham ran for 29 yards on a reverse play.

Like many other teams, the 49ers struggled to contain Calvin Johnson. However, their defensive line got to Matthew Stafford in time to stop him from finding Johnson open a lot, while Michael Crabtree was found open a lot. He got open on key third downs to keep drives alive, and he helped the Niners set up touchdowns (and field goals).

The Niners continued to dominate on defense (some of the Lions’ points came somewhat cheap). Kendall Hunter fumbled a kickoff, and there was a questionable pass interference call that led to a touchdown. However, the results were still good for the 49ers, who continue to perform extremely well.

If they keep playing like this, they’ll cruise against the Vikings and Jets (even though both games are on the road). And, after watching this game and the Patriots’ game, who am I to say the Niners can’t go 16-0?