STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS
PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Jon Kitna threw for 202 yards but had two key turnovers -- a fumble that led to a San Francisco field goal and an interception that ended Detroit's last chance at victory. Roy Williams also had a fumble, and Kitna was sacked twice by untouched blitzers. The second of those sacks, coming from Shawntae Spencer's corner blitz, led to a fumble after a blindside shot that should make every Hits of the Season video.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The Lions had to abandon the run fairly early after falling behind 13-0. They did rush for a semi-respectable 71 yards, but 27 of those came on Kitna scrambles. Kevin Jones had a good game catching the ball -- nine receptions for 71 yards -- but only managed 44 yards on the ground.
PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- Detroit held Alex Smith to 136 yards, sacked him three times and forced a fumble, but the defense couldn't make a big play to get off the field. The Lions didn't have an interception, and Smith was over 50 percent on third-down conversions through the air.
RUSH DEFENSE: F -- Frank Gore had 148 yards rushing in the first half, and he probably would have threatened Charlie Garner's team record of 201 if not for a second-half concussion. Instead, he finished with 159, including a 61-yard score that saw him break three tackles and shrug off a half-hearted shoulder block by Dre Bly.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Jason Hanson hit both his field-goal attempts, and Nick Harris dropped two of three punts inside the 20. Eddie Drummond didn't look quite as electrifying as he did the previous week against Atlanta, but he had one 36-yard kickoff return.
COACHING: D -- Yes, the Lions were coming off a big win over Atlanta, but they were still 2-6, so coming out flat was inexcusable. Coach Rod Marinelli was the first to take the blame, as he always does, but he might also need to reconsider his even-keeled demeanor with a team that hasn't known anything but failure in the 21st century. The grade would be lower, but you can't coach talent, and the Lions don't have enough.