Lions suffer "setback" in loss against 49ers

One week after an upset of Atlanta, the Lions looked helpless against Frank Gore, who rushed for a franchise-record 148 yards in the first half, and the team repeatedly shot themselves in the foot offensively in a 19-13 loss to San Francisco.

DETROIT --  The Detroit Lions still can't handle success.

One week after an upset of Atlanta, the Lions looked helpless against Frank Gore, who rushed for a franchise-record 148 yards in the first half, and the team repeatedly shot themselves in the foot offensively in a 19-13 loss to San Francisco.

"I don't know, and I really don't care," said Lions coach Rod Marinelli when he was asked if his team was still thinking about the Falcons victory.

"What I'm trying to do here is go one play at a time and one game at a time."

Marinelli planned to let his team know exactly what he thought of their performance when they gathered for Monday's film session.

"I'm not a sugar-coater," he said. "I'm going to put this film right in their faces. I'm not going to put everything on them -- the coaches and I didn't do our job of getting them ready -- but I'm going to be honest with them about what went wrong."

The Lions have only won back-to-back games twice in the Matt Millen era, and have never put together a three-game winning streak. After beating Atlanta, and with games coming up against Arizona and Miami, some players were publicly talking about reeling off four straight.

Now, though, they will have to go back to the drawing board.

"It is a setback," said talkative wideout Roy Williams. "I think we came out a little flat. I don't think we were into this ballgame. I don't know if that's because it was San Francisco instead of Atlanta."

Gore looked unstoppable before leaving the game with a second-half concussion, something that concerned Marinelli. On his 61-yard touchdown on San Francisco's first drive, he broke three tackles and bounced off Dre Bly's half-hearted attempt at a shoulder block.

"We had people in position on that play, but we didn't execute -- one guy overran the play and one guy under-ran it," Marinelli said. "Tackling is a concern. You have to be good tacklers to win in this league."

Later, Stanley Wilson dropped an easy interception that would have gone for a long touchdown return.

"There's no excuse," he said. "I have to make that play to help our team win."

On offense, the team will be working on blitz pick-ups this week, after Kitna was sacked twice by untouched blitzers. The second, early in the second half, resulted in a fumble that led to a 49ers field goal.

"I never saw the guy," said Kitna, who was blindsided by Shawntae Spencer on the play.

Kitna's fumble was one of four turnovers by the Lions. Kevin Jones and Roy Williams both lost fumbles, while Kitna threw a game-killing interception on Detroit's final drive.

"We're just not mature enough as a football team," Kitna said. "We give ourselves no room for error. We can't take plays off and we can't take downs off. We need to do what we are coached to do, and I don't think we did that today."

Marinelli is going to make sure they remember to do it Sunday in Arizona.

"We're going to come back on Monday and go right back to the fundamentals," he said. "The players we have here are good enough to win. We just have to execute our system."


  • RB Kevin Jones provided much of Detroit's offense Sunday. He led the team in rushing, albeit with just 44 yards, and in receiving, catching nine passes for 71 yards. Jones has 50 catches in nine games this season, two more than his previous season-best of 48, and is on pace to break James Jones' 1984 franchise record of 77 catches by a running back.
  • WR Roy Williams had his touchdown streak snapped at three games, as he finished with only five catches for 81 yards. Even his biggest play of the day, a 22-yard catch early in the third quarter, ended badly when his fumble was recovered by the 49ers.
  • K Jason Hanson had two field goals and an extra point in the game, giving him 1,481 career points. That moved him past Steve Christie for 13th place in NFL history, and leaves him just 19 points from 1,500.
  • WR Mike Furrey, who has become Detroit's No. 2 receiver as the season has progressed, caught only two balls for 13 yards against San Francisco. On the Lions' final drive, needing a touchdown to win, Kitna looked for Furrey on both 3rd and 4th downs, but the first pass was low and the second was intercepted by Keith Lewis.
  • S Kenoy Kennedy, playing in his second game after missing five weeks with a foot injury, led the Lions with 13 tackles on defense, and added another on special teams.
  • DT Cory Redding, playing out of position because of the absence of starting tackles Shaun Rogers (drug suspension) and Shaun Cody (foot), had five tackles and two sacks. Redding, normally an end, is second on the Lions with 3 1/2 sacks this season. DE James Hall, who leads the team with five, is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

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