Saturday, October 15, 2011
Suh: 49ers' conservative attack helps Lions
By Mike Sando
The Detroit Lions have scored 58 points despite controlling the ball less than 45 of 120 minutes over their past two games.
Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers would have to like their chances against the Lions on Sunday if they can hold possession as long as Detroit's past two opponents held it.
We should expect to see running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter getting lots of carries against a Lions defense allowing 4.8 yards per rushing attempt this season.
Gore has rushed for 252 yards over his past two games.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recently said he thinks Detroit can control the 49ers' ground game because San Francisco plays a conservative style of offense designed to minimize mistakes.
"They don't take very many risks and that's something that I think is good for us when we shut down what they want to do, which is their run game, and force them into long-yardage situations, get them behind the eight ball and having them have to come back because our offense is putting points on the board and putting points on their defense," Suh wrote on the Lions' website. "That puts them in situations that they don't want to be in."
The 49ers have worn down opposing defensive fronts in victories against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay the past two weeks. The Lions' depth along the line should allow them to stay fresher. But the way the Lions have played defense -- lining up with their defensive ends unusually wide, in order to maximize pass-rush opportunities -- should give the 49ers' power running game a chance. They need to be the more physical team.