49ers 25

(5-1, 3-0 away)

Lions 19

(5-1, 2-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 16, 2011

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
SF 0 12 3 1025
DET 10 0 3 619

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 293 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: F. Gore (SF) - 15 CAR, 141 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 7 REC, 113 YDS

Alex Smith, 49ers hand Lions first loss as coaches scuffle after game

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Jim Harbaugh charged across the field, lifting his shirt to expose his belly to attempt a chest bump. He extended his right hand to Jim Schwartz for a shake and slapped him on the back with his left hand.

Schwartz didn't like what was done or said -- claiming he heard an expletive -- and went charging after Harbaugh. What an emotion-filled scene following a meeting of turnaround teams that matched pregame hype in San Francisco's 25-19 victory over Detroit on Sunday.

The NFC might have a nasty new rivalry no one saw coming.

After the 49ers knocked the Lions from the unbeaten ranks on Alex Smith's touchdown pass with 1:51 left, both coaches added some highlights -- or lowlights -- of their own.

Harbaugh took the blame in one breath -- and a shot in the next.

"That's totally on me," Harbaugh said. "I shook his hand too hard."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the incident will be reviewed.

Harbaugh, a first-year NFL coach who played at Michigan, had to be separated from Schwartz more than once after Schwartz came running and lunging toward him as both teams were going to the tunnel.

"I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way," Schwartz said. "I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. Obviously, when you win a game like that, you are excited, but there is a protocol that goes with this league."

Players from the 49ers (5-1) and Lions (5-1) gathered and appeared to restore order -- probably because they were worn out from a hard-hitting, penalty-filled game with four lead changes after halftime.

"Ironically, I was playing peacemaker," Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "But this is an emotional sport."

Smith's fourth-down, 6-yard pass to Delanie Walker gave San Francisco the go-ahead touchdown with 1:51 left. The play stood after video review didn't show definitely whether Walker's right knee was down before the ball reached the goal line.

David Akers gave San Francisco a six-point lead with 1:02 to go with a 37-yard field goal.

Detroit had a chance to drive for a winning TD, but couldn't get a first down against a swarming defense that hit and confused quarterback Matthew Stafford from the start.

That last drive started with San Francisco's fifth sack and ended with a catch and lateral -- 69 yards short of the end zone -- to trigger Harbaugh's exuberant celebration.

"It fires me up a lot," Harbaugh said. "If that offends you or anybody else, then so be it."

San Francisco lost its first five games last season and the five-time championship franchise failed to finish with a winning record for the eighth straight year. Harbaugh has made an instant impact, quickly changing culture with many of the same players. The NFC West-leading 49ers have won five of their first six games for the first time since 1998.

"He loves football," Smith said. "He's an emotional guy, and it's showing up on this team."

Smith lost a fumble on his first snap and threw an interception late in the third quarter, matching his turnover totals from the first five games in both categories.

But the No. 1 pick overall from the 2005 draft made a clutch pass to Walker for the win when Michael Crabtree drew away the defense.

"They kind of jumped Crab and left me open in the middle," Walker said. "Alex made a great read and made a perfect throw."

Smith was 17 of 32 for 125 yards, going early and often to Crabtree, who matched a career high with nine receptions for 77 yards. Frank Gore ran 15 times for 141 yards, including a season-long 55-yard gain, and scored a TD that pulled the 49ers within three after they were outscored 10-0 in the first quarter.

Stafford looked shaky for the first time this season and San Francisco had a lot to do with that.

"It's a good defense," he acknowledged.

Stafford was 28 of 50 for 293 yards with two TDs.

Detroit had won nine straight regular-season games, dating to last season, in what was the league's longest active streak.

"We had trouble getting guys free, and when we did, we didn't always make the throws," Schwartz said. "We need to get the running game going so that we don't look quite so one-dimensional."

The Lions couldn't move the ball on the ground with either Jahvid Best or Maurice Morris against a sturdy front and perhaps the league's best linebacking corps, allowing the 49ers to hit and harass Stafford.

He was sacked once in the end zone, giving the 49ers a safety that cut their deficit to one point midway through the second quarter.

Jason Hanson missed a 52-yard field goal that would've given Detroit a four-point lead late in the first half. Akers made a 55-yard kick to match a season high, putting the 49ers ahead 12-10 as time expired in the half.

Brandon Pettigrew had eight catches for 42 yards and a score. Calvin Johnson added seven receptions for 113 yards, but didn't score after being the NFL's first player with nine TD receptions in the first five games of a season.

Stafford connected with Nate Burleson on a 5-yard pass into the end zone ruled incomplete on the field. It was overturned after video review, giving Detroit a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Burleson caught the ball and got both feet down, then lost the ball after tumbling beyond the end zone -- a play similar to Johnson's well-documented catch that was ruled incomplete last year at Chicago.

The 49ers overcame 15 penalties, including five false starts at raucous Ford Field, and Detroit drew six flags.

"Once you get a couple false starts, it's like throwing gasoline on a fire," Smith said.

Game notes

San Francisco and Chicago combined for 14 false starts at Detroit, matching Houston's record from 2004 for the most false starts by visiting teams in back-to-back games since 1991, according to STATS LLC. ... The teams met with 9-1 records after being 1-9 at same point last season. ... Harbaugh played for Baltimore in 1998, when Schwartz was a Ravens assistant.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1421
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6373
Total Yards314310
Yards per play5.04.2
Total Drives1716
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-42-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders

Ginn Jr.22412.0018

Scoring Summary

detFG11:39Jason Hanson 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 25 yds, 2:01
detTD4:50Brandon Pettigrew 16 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 69 yds, 3:02
sfTD15:00Frank Gore 1 Yard Run (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:47
sfSF7:50Matthew Stafford Sacked By Aldon Smith In End Zone For -11 Yards
Drive info: 2 plays, -11 yds, 0:05
sfFG0:05David Akers 55 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 21 yds, 0:55
detFG11:45Jason Hanson 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 54 yds, 2:12
sfFG9:27David Akers 31 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 67 yds, 2:18
detTD13:53Nate Burleson 5 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Matthew Stafford Pass to Calvin Johnson For Two-Point Conversion is No Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 49 yds, 2:55
sfTD1:56Delanie Walker 6 Yard Pass From Alex Smith (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 35 yds, 3:38
sfFG1:06David Akers 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 0:14

Research Notes

The 49ers held Matthew Stafford to 4 of 16 passing with no scores on throws outside of the painted field numbers. Stafford's completion percentage (25.0 percent) was his lowest on such throws since Week 9 of 2010 against the Jets and it was just the second time Stafford has been held to 25.0 percent or lower in his career.
NEXT LEVEL: Alex Smith handed the Lions their first loss when he converted on 4th-and-goal to tight end Delanie Walker for the game-winning touchdown. Among quarterbacks with at least 10 red zone attempts to their tight ends since the beginning of 2010, Smith led the NFL with a completion percentage of 82.4 entering Week 6. The Niners' quarterback has now completed three passes in the red zone when targeting his tight ends this year with all three going for touchdowns.
This was the third game-winning, fourth-quarter comeback drive in a ROAD game that Alex Smith has led this season. Only one other quarterback in 49ers history has done that in a single season - Joe Montana had four in 1989 and three in 1990.
NEXT LEVEL: Alex Smith handed the Lions their first loss when he converted on 4th-and-goal to tight end Delanie Walker for the game-winning touchdown. Among quarterbacks with at least 10 red zone attempts to their tight ends since the beginning of 2010, Smith led the NFL with a completion percentage of 82.4 entering Week 6. The Niners' quarterback has now completed three passes in the red zone when targeting his tight ends this year with all three going for touchdowns.

GoreFrank Gore gashed the Lions' defense for rushes of 47 and 55 yards between the tackles. Gore capitalized on the Lions' aggressive line, rushing for 138 of his 141 yards in that direction.

NEXT LEVEL: The 49ers sent four or fewer pass rushers against Matthew Stafford on 56 of his 57 dropbacks, accumulating five sacks, including a critical one on the Lions' final drive. 49ers' rookie Aldon Smith contributed on two of those sacks, and has racked up five sacks over the past three weeks when San Francisco sends four or fewer pass rushers.

49ersSunday was the third time in the 49ers' franchise history that San Francisco beat an undefeated team on the road this late in the season.


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