49ers need more from Smith, Gore

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers need a stronger second half from Alex Smith after managing only a 6-3 halftime lead against the Lions.

That means they'll need to protect well enough to avoid having passes batted at the line of scrimmage several more times. Smith will need to make better choices downfield.

Frank Gore's status will be a key variable. He missed the 49ers' final six offensive snaps of the first half. He is doing some running and cutting on the sideline as the teams prepare to kick off for the third quarter. The 49ers just handed a helmet to him and Gore put it on. That probably means we'll see him again in the second half.