Stock up and stock down from 49ers Week 1 win

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The dust has settled, and there was plenty of it, on the 49ers’ 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions in the season opener. Immediately after the game was a bit chaotic given how the contest ended and the terrible news that the team feared CB Jason Verrett tore his ACL. Now we’ve gotten a chance to take a look back at Sunday’s game and assess which players saw their stock rise and which players saw their stock dip during the win.

Up: WR Deebo Samuel

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Samuel was arguably the best player on the field Sunday. He caught nine of his 12 targets for 189 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn't the typical Deebo Samuel performance we saw last season where he had to generate his own yards on short throws. He was used more as a vertical threat and on throws into the second and third levels in the middle of the field. The highlight of his day was a 79-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown where he fought back to an under-thrown ball against tight coverage and then outran the defense for a long score. The 49ers needed Samuel to take some kind of leap this year after an injury-filled second season, and he did exactly that in the opener.

Down: Run defense

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The 49ers are lucky they flipped the game script where the Lions couldn't run as often as they might've liked. Detroit for most of the game was averaging more than 6.0 yards per attempt on the ground, and finished the game at 4.8 yards per carry on 24 rushes. San Francisco was extremely vulnerable in the middle where they felt Javon Kinlaw's absence. Kinlaw's return should help some, but the run defense is certainly a concern moving into the second game.

Up: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

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Garoppolo was excellent. After an offseason of wondering if he was capable of leading the 49ers offense, he left no doubt going into Week 2 with a stellar performance against the Lions. He was 17-for-25 for 314 yards and a touchdown. Beyond the numbers though, he was decisive, smart with the football, and looked more mobile than he has in either of the last two seasons. There are still 16 games to go, but the starting QB's stock is soaring after the first 60 minutes.

Down: Closing time

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The 49ers were up 41-17 at the two-minute warning. They allowed a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 1:53 to go. At 41-25, the Lions booted an onside kick that 49ers TE George Kittle looked to have surrounded, only to have it bounce off of his face mask and back to the Lions. Then Jared Goff plowed through the 49ers' defense en route to another touchdown and another two-point conversion. San Francisco then had to salt the game away, and had the game-sealing first down on a throw to Samuel, but the receiver fumbled and the Lions recovered, giving them a chance to tie the game. It was a disastrous final two minutes, and those mistakes cannot continue if the 49ers are going to put away the NFL's best teams.

Up: CB Deommodore Lenoir

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There weren't many defensive players on the field better than Lenoir on Sunday. He was thrust into a starting role because of Emmanuel Moseley's injury and the fifth-round rookie from Oregon answered the bell. He played in 90 snaps and allowed one catch for three yards on four targets. Lenoir did get tagged with a pass interference penalty late in the game, but it was the only blemish on an otherwise terrific debut. He should maintain a starting job as the team figures out the rest of its CB depth chart.

Down: Other cornerback depth

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While Lenoir was excellent, the other 49ers cornerbacks struggled after Verrett went down. Dontae Johnson got beat for a touchdown, and Ambry Thomas allowed completions on all three balls thrown his way in the final couple minutes. San Francisco has at least one fix in the works with starter Emmanuel Moseley working his way back from a knee injury that forced him out of Sunday's game. Beyond that it's Johnson, Thomas, Josh Norman who was inactive Sunday, and Dre Kirkpatrick who's expected to sign with the team in the lead up to Week 2. This is the single biggest problem facing the 49ers moving forward.

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