SAN FRANCISCO -- A few thoughts at the midpoint here from Candlestick Park:
The San Francisco 49ers are proving that last week's victory at Lambeau Field was no joke. Their coverage on the Detroit Lions' downfield receivers is excellent and they're getting pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions have only 112 total yards and seven first downs.
It's clear the Lions know they can't make this a one-dimensional game, and they've mixed the run and pass calls as much as you'll ever see them. They've run the ball 17 times and thrown 16 passes. The running game hasn't produced much in the way of points, but it has helped limit the 49ers' opportunities to score. The Lions have held the ball for 17 minutes, six seconds. The 49ers have had it for the other 12:36.
Stafford has had some accuracy problems, including a floater in the first quarter that was intercepted and led directly to a 49ers touchdown. Overall, he has completed seven of his 16 passes.
Many of you are tweeting my way that the television broadcast showed the first quarter expired before a second-down pass to receiver Randy Moss. The Lions were penalized for pass interference on the play, leading to a first-and-goal. Two words for ya: Replacement officials. What do you expect?
As we discussed earlier, the Lions need to capitalize on every opportunity the historically stingy 49ers give them. They weren't able to in the first quarter when kick returner Kendall Hunter committed the 49ers' first turnover in seven regular-season games. The Lions moved the ball only 2 yards and settled for Jason Hanson's 41-yard field goal.
That kick clanged off the right upright before sailing through, but Hanson wasn't as lucky on a 40-yard attempt in the second quarter. That kick again hit the right upright and bounced away.
I thought linebacker DeAndre Levy had an active and impressive first half. He has unofficially been credited with five tackles, including a tackle of 49ers running back Frank Gore that ended the 49ers' two-minute drill just before halftime.
I covered baseball many moons ago, and for some reason I feel compelled to share this observation: Candlestick Park smells just like old Yankee Stadium, in a this-stadium-has-been-dirtied-and-cleaned-many-times kind of way. That's all I've got.