If you watched the San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions during Week 6 of the 2011 NFL season, you know Delanie Walker's last possession touchdown to win the game for the 49ers was filled with emotion. Emotion that overflowed onto the field for the 49ers, especially to head coach Jim Harbaugh. As you'll recall, Harbaugh and Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz had quite the handshake after the game, where Schwartz felt that maybe Harbaugh didn't shake his hand in the most respectful manner.
In any case, the 49ers will host the Lions for their first home game of the 2012 NFL season on Sunday, September 16. Not to mention, it's a Sunday Night Football game, which means the whole nation will be watching.
This game will be the first time since "Handshake-Gate" that these two teams will face off. Other than the meeting of two potential playoff foes, this matchup marks a significant game for the 49ers. If construction of the 49ers' new Santa Clara stadium remains on track, this is one of two home openers remaining that the 49ers will host at Candlestick Park. The thing most fans have taken for granted for the last 30-plus years is coming to a quicker end than most may realize.
As for the game itself, I have a feeling it is going to be one of the most physical games of the entire season. With the "bad blood" that was boiling after the 49ers' victory in 2011, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of aggressiveness by both coaches when it comes to play-calling and strategy. And when it comes to the 49ers defending Calvin Johnson, I expect a lot of press coverage with safety help over the top. If you can disrupt Johnson's route, you have a better chance at stopping him rather than allowing a free release -- not a significantly better chance, but a better chance (after all, it is Calvin Johnson we're talking about).
I have to give the edge to the 49ers in this one. They are coming off a big win against the Green Bay in Week 1 and will look to continue their momentum going forward. Their biggest challenge on the day will be containing -- or rather slowing down -- Calvin Johnson. In terms of their offense, I think their Week 1 matchup displayed their new look offense with plenty of familiar wrinkles that work time and time again for the 49ers.
I have the 49ers winning 31 - 17 at home this Sunday, September 16, in Week 2 of the NFL season.
Food for thought: How about your predictions? Who wins this game and what is the final score? Does San Francisco start of 2-0 or do the Lions beat their second NFC West opponent in a row? (They squeaked by the St. Louis Rams 27-23 in Week 1).
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions -- all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
NFL.com. 49ers vs Lions Preview. NFL 2012.
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