Observations from each quarter in 49ers’ nail-biting victory

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The 49ers got out to a fast start against the Lions, but had to hold off a furious late charge to put them away 41-33 in their season opener.

Here’s our observations from each quarter:

First quarter

(AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

- Deommodore Lenoir started at corner and the first throw his way went incomplete thanks in part to some heavy pressure from the defensive line. - The Lions' first series ends with a turnover on downs. Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead spent a lot of time in Detroit's backfield. - Brutal play by Samson Ebukam on an end around. He had a chance to intercept an end around, but ignored the football to try and hit Jared Goff. - LB Azeez Al-Shaair sniffed out a screen to put the Lions way behind the sticks and help set up a longer field goal that Detroit missed. Good stuff early on from the LB. - Trey Lance's first snap comes on the 49ers' first snap in the red zone. The rookie faked a throw and kept it to run up the middle for a yard. - Elijah Mitchell, not JaMycal Hasty, is the first RB off the bench, but it's Hasty on a third-and-6 in the red zone. - Lance again. This time he throws it on first-and-goal and hits Trent Sherfield on a play action look for a touchdown. Incredible. - The 49ers interior defensive line is getting cooked. Detroit is having a ton of success running up the middle. - Kentavius Street notched his first NFL sack to pick up where he left off after a big preseason. - Jaquiski Tartt is having a rough go early on. He's missed a couple tackles and looks like a player who missed virtually all of training camp. End of first quarter: 49ers 7, Lions 0

Second quarter

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- The Lions are making easy work of the 49ers' defense. San Francisco has no answer for Lions TE TJ Hockenson who beat Tartt for a game-tying touchdown. - Rookie RB Elijah Mitchell looks GOOD. He's in for the injured Raheem Mostert and broke a tackle en route to a 38-yard touchdown for his first career touchdown. - The 49ers' run defense is an issue so far. Detroit is averaging 6.5 yards per carry a little more than halfway through the second quarter. - JaMycal Hasty finished off the 49ers' fourth series of the day with a tough touchdown run. He and Mitchell are going to need to shoulder a lot of the load with Mostert hurt. Good early start for the young RBs. - There's Dee Ford, who ripped around the edge for his first sack since late in the 2019 season. Getting a big year from him would be huge for San Francisco's defense. - Garoppolo finishes the first half 9-12 for 136 yards. He looks very good. End of second quarter: 49ers 31, Lions 10

Third quarter

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- Lance's first snap of the second half comes on a third-and-20. That's interesting. It was a designed run to the left for a couple yards. It set up a long field goal that Robbie Gould missed. - Dre Greenlaw left the game with a groin injury. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles was his replacement. Azeez Al-Shaair also moved to Will linebacker and had a really nice third-down pass breakup while covering a running back. Al-Shaair is having a great game. - Deebo Samuel hauled in a 79-yard touchdown on a shot up the right sideline. He fought hard to get back to the football, caught it, then outran the defense for the long score. It's 38-10 and the 49ers offense is rolling midway through the third quarter. - Detroit got a long touchdown on a screen where defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans drew up a blitz. Running back DeAndre Swift saw no resistance on his way to the end zone. - Another snap for Lance goes nowhere. All but one of his plays have been designed runs and he hasn't done much with them. He's at 2 yards on his three carries. End of third quarter score: 49ers 38, Lions 17

Fourth quarter

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- There's Nick Bosa's first sack. He blew up rookie LT Penei Sewell and forced Jared Goff to roll out left. Bosa broke free of his blocker and dragged down Goff for his first sack since the 2019 season. - Brutal. Jason Verrett is ruled out with a knee injury after going down without any contact. Dontae Johnson entered for him, but San Francisco is thin at that spot. - Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt are out. Tavon Wilson and Talanoa Hufanga are the safeties. - The wheels are falling off late. Detroit scored and got the two-point conversion with 1:53 left to make it a 41-25 game. Then George Kittle had the onside kick bounce off his face mask and the Lions recovered. This could erase a lot of the good the 49ers did early in this game. - Ambry Thomas and Dontae Johnson are in the game and the Lions are picking on both of them. They've been really, really abysmal. Johnson got beat for a touchdown, then Thomas got beat for a two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game with just over a minute left. - Now a fumble on a play that would've iced the game. Deebo Samuel coughed up a first down and the Lions recovered. Nothing is going right for San Francisco.

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