Recap: Comeback falls short; Lions lose 30-27

By Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay scores a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers defensive back Adrian Colbert looks on during the first half.

Final leaders


DET - Matthew Stafford: 34/53, 347 yds., 3 TDs

SF - Jimmy Garoppolo: 18/26, 206 yds., 2 TDs


DET - Kerryon Johnson: 8 atts., 43 yds.

SF - Matt Breida: 11 atts., 138 yds., TD


DET - Golden Tate: 7 recs., 109 yds.

SF - Pierre Garcon: 4 recs., 57 yds.

Lions come up short on final drive

Matt Stafford throws a short completion to Golden Tate over the middle for a gain of 6 to the 21. A 49er is hurt on the play, which will draw a timeout.

Stafford escapes pressure and throws deep into double coverage. His pass is knocked to the ground. It's third-and-4. Stafford gets it to Tate for a gain of 9 before Tate steps out-of-bounds at the Detroit 30-yard-line.

Stafford goes to Riddick over the middle for a gain of 8. Stafford's throw to Golladay on second down falls incomplete. 0:23 left. They will review the call on the field that Stafford's pass was incomplete.

The call stands.

Riddick drops a pass that would have probably gotten the Lions into field goal range. It's fourth-and-2. 

Stafford has to dance around in the pocket, and his pass to Riddick goes through the running back's hands again.

Jimmy Garoppolo takes a knee to run out the clock.

30-27 49ers (FINAL)

Lions defense makes biggest stop of game

Jalen Reeves-Maybin hits D.J. Reed hard at the 22-yard line on the kick return.

49ers go play-action on first down and get a first down through the air with a completed pass to Pierre Garcon for a gain of 13. 

Timeout 49ers (2:35 4th)

Alfred Morris gains 4 tough yards on first down.

Timeout Lions (2:29 4th)

They go to Morris again on second down for a gain of 4 more. It's third-and-2.

Timeout Lions (2:24 4th)

Jimmy Garoppolo's pass on third down is picked off and taken all the way inside the red zone by Tracy Walker, but the Lions are flagged for defensive holding. That'll give the 49ers a first down.

Alfred Morris rushes for 1 yard on first down.

Timeout Lions (2:09 4th)

Morris goes for 1 more yard on second down to make it third-and-8.

Two-minute warning

Garoppolo is sacked on third down for a loss of 10. The Lions are out of timeouts, but will get the ball back.

Jamal Agnew takes it out-of-bounds at the 16.

30-27 49ers (1:08 4th)

Roberts touchdown brings Lions within 3

Matt Stafford throws a quick out route to Kenny Golladay for a gain of 11 to make it first-and-10 at the 32.

Kerryon Johnson catches a pass on the next play and hurdles his defender to pick up 5 yards. Stafford goes to Golladay again for a gain 8 and a new set of downs.

Stafford overthrows an open receiver for what would be a sure touchdown; this time it's Golladay. Marvin Jones draws a pass interference call on second down that'll give the Lions a first down at the San Francisco 44.

Johnson gains 8 yards on a screen pass. The clock has dipped below 5:00. Heavy pressure forces a poor throw from Stafford to make it third-and-2. Luke Willson sets an impromptu pick route to clear up space for Tate, who gains 8 yards and a first down on the completion.

Stafford's pass on first down is batted at the line, and on second down, he throws it back-shoulder to Golladay at the 7-yard-line.

Stafford is sacked on first down for a loss of 9. It'll be second-and-goal at the 15.

Timeout 49ers (3:37 4th)

Stafford throws incomplete to Jones on second down. On third down, Stafford completes it to Michael Roberts in the end zone for his first catch of the game. The Lions are within a field goal.

30-27 49ers (3:27 4th)

Defensive stop keeps Lions within striking distance

Sam Martin's kickoff goes for a touchback.

Matt Breida takes the handoff on first down for no gain. Jarrad Davis throws Jimmy Garoppolo to the ground to force a loss of 4 on second down to make it third-and-14.

Garoppolo is forced to check it down to Kyle Juszczyk for 3 yards and the Lions will get the ball back.

Jamal Agnew returns the punt 73 yards to the house, but there are two illegal blocks cause yellow laundry to fly everywhere. It'll come back.

30-20 49ers (6:08 4th)

Blount ejected; Jones touchdown makes it two-score game

Jamal Agnew gets to the 20 on the kickoff.

Matt Stafford throws it complete to Theo Riddick on first down for a gain of 10.

Another deep ball to Marvin Jones is overthrown by Stafford. Stafford scrambles on second down and is blown up by Elijah Lee as he hops out-of-bounds. LeGarrette Blount takes exception to the hit and steps into the field of play to push Lee to the ground.

There was a flag on the play already, so this will take some sorting out.

Taylor Decker is called for holding. Blount is called for a personal foul and has been ejected. It's third-and-17.

Stafford finds Golden Tate wide open on third down and he makes a run for it across the field to the San Francisco 10 for a gain of 67 yards. The self-proclaimed 'YAK King' had 37 yards after the catch.

Stafford is sacked on first first down, but Cassius Marsh is called for a face mask. It'll be first-and-goal at the 5.

Jones catches a Stafford throw in the end zone for a Lions touchdown.

30-20 49ers (8:36 4th)

Steady rushing attack adds to 49ers lead

Pierre Garcon catches a pass for a gain of 19 on first down.

On first-and-10 from the Detroit 34, Alfred Morris runs for a gain of 7, and on second down, he gets 9 yards to move the chains.

Morris gets the handoff again on first down and gets to the 15 with a gain of 3. Dante Pettis fumbles the handoff on second down and falls on it for a loss of 3. Morris is the intended receiver on an incomplete pass on third down. Robbie Gould will try the 36-yard field goal.

Gould is 3-for-3 and the 49ers are up 17.

30-13 49ers (11:21 4th)

Stafford inaccuracy crushing comeback hopes

Jamal Agnew returns the kickoff to the 20.

LeGarrette Blount gets the ball on first down and bounces outside to pick up 2 yards. Matt Stafford just gets rid of it on second down after having nowhere to throw.

End of 3rd quarter

Stafford overshoots Marvin Jones by a hair with nobody in front of the receiver to end the drive on third down.

Dante Pettis returns the punt to the 47-yard-line 

27-13 49ers (14:43 4th)

Breida breaks free for touchdown

The 49ers quickly get out of the hole with an 11-yard pass to Garrett Celek. 

The Lions can't wrap up Matt Breida and he picks up 20 yards on the next first down. Breida gets the ball again on first-and-10 from the 34 and breaks this one all the way for a 66-yard touchdown run.

27-13 49ers (1:06 3rd)

Dropped balls force Lions punt

Kerryon Johnson runs for no gain on first down and catches a pass for 2 yards on second down. Matt Stafford finds Marvin Jones for a gain of 19 to keep the drive alive.

On first down from the 36, Luke Willson catches a pass and gains 13 yards for another first down.

Johnson gains 4 yards to the outside on the next play. 

Injury update: It has been reported that Slay has suffered a concussion and will not return to the game.

Golden Tate drops a short pass over the middle to make it third-and-6. 

Timeout 49ers (2:20 3rd)

Stafford puts the ball just behind Tate on third down over the middle and he's not able to hold onto it. The Lions will punt.

Sam Martin's punt is downed at the 3-yard-line.

20-13 49ers (2:16 3rd)

Good pass coverage forces 49ers punt

D.J. Reed brings it out of the end zone and gets to the 22-yard-line.

Jimmy Garoppolo hits Pierre Garcon underneath the secondary on first down for a gain of 20 yards. 

He goes to Matt Breida near the left sideline on the next play and his pass falls out-of-bounds. Breida catches the checkdown pass on second down and gains 9 to make it third-and-1. 

Darius slay collides hard with Kyle Juszczyk on a converted third down and he remains on face-down on the ground. He was heading into the medical tent when Fox returned from commercial break.

Alfred Morris gains 3 yards on first down up the middle. George Kittle drops the pass from Garoppolo on second down due to an accurate swipe of the hand by Quandre Diggs. Jamal Agnew plays his coverage perfectly to break up Garoppolo's pass on third down. San Francisco will punt.

Agnew calls for a fair catch at the 14-yard-line. Slay heads to the locker room.

20-13 (5:47 3rd)

Penalties kill Lions drive to force Prater field goal

Jamal Agnew puts together a decent return himself and the Lions will start at the Detroit 48-yard-line.

LeGarrette Blount makes a nice cut and hits the hole for a gain of 13 to get to the San Francisco 39.

Matt Stafford is hit hard on first down as his pass falls to the ground. Kerryon Johnson gets the handoff from the shotgun and bounces to the outside to pick up 21 yards. The Lions are in the red zone.

Taylor Decker is flagged for holding on first down and it'll be first-and-20. Then Ragnow gets called for holding. First-and-27. Not ideal.

Johnson runs for 3 yards on first down. Stafford dumps it off to Riddick 1 yard in behind the line of scrimmage and he's immediately taken down. It's third-and-23. Johnson gains 6 yards on a third down run.

Prater's attempt from 43 is through the uprights.

20-13 49ers (8:46 3rd)

Long return helps 49ers score quickly

D.J. Reed returns the second half kickoff 101 yards to the house but is flagged for a facemask call. The 49ers will still start deep in Lion territory at the 25.

Matt Breida gets the ball and rushes for a gain of 7 on first down and picks up a first down with a run for 3 yards on second down.

Alfred Morris gains 5 yards on first down and Garrett Celek catches an 11-yard pass in the end zone for a 49ers touchdown.

20-10 49ers (13:17 3rd)

First half leaders


DET - Matt Stafford: 16/21, 127 yds., TD

SF - Jimmy Garoppolo: 10/14, 119 yds., TD


DET - LeGarrette Blount: 5 atts., 23 yds.

SF - Matt Breida: 6 atts., 42 yds.


DET - Kenny Golladay: 3 recs., 49 yds., TD

SF - Dante Pettis: 1 rec., 35 yds.

Prater field goal caps off drive

Matt Stafford misses on first down to Theo Riddick and misses a wide-open Marvin Jones on a deep throw. He connects with Jones on third-and-10 for a gain of 18. It'll be first-and-10 at the 48.

Timeout Lions (0:32 2nd)

Stafford gains 3 yards on a pass to Riddick, and a facemask penalty adds 15 yards to the end of the play. It's now first down at the 30.

Stafford hits Golden Tate over the middle and he gains 13 yards on his way to a first down. 

Riddick is targeted on the next play but he's pushed out-of-bounds for no gain with 0:16 remaining. He gets the pass on second down and gains 8 yards.

Timeout Lions (0:10 remaining)

Stafford misses Jones in the end zone and the Lions will try a field goal.

Prater's try is good from 27 yards out.

13-10 49ers (0:03 2nd)

The ensuing kickoff runs out the remaining three seconds on the clock.

Lions get ball back before half

Garoppolo's pass on first down is broken up nicely by Quandre Diggs. The 49er quarterback is hammered by Christian Jones for a loss of 9 on second down. Garoppolo throws it into the ground on third down to avoid getting sacked in the end zone.

Jamal Agnew returns the punt to the 44. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is called for an illegal block that'll subtract 10 yards.

13-7 49ers (0:49 2nd)

Lions drive stalls at midfield

Jamal Agnew takes a knee in the end zone and the Lions will take over at the 25.

Golden Tate gets the end-around on first down and gets to the 34 for a gain of 9. LeGarrette Blount picks up the first down with a gain of 3.

Golladay makes a nice diving catch on a quick slant route for a gain of 9 yards on first down and dumps it off to Blount, who has nowhere to go and is dropped for a loss of 3 to make it third-and-4. Golden Tate makes a lunging effort to get the first down after catching a pass near the right sideline. It'll be first-and-10 at the 47.

Two-minute warning

The 49ers challenge the spot on the field, contesting that Tate's knee was down before the stretch.

After video review, the officials reverse the call on the field and the game clock to 2:09. The Lions will punt.

Two-minute warning (again)

Sam Martin's punt is fair caught at the 13-yard-line. 

13-7 49ers (1:53 2nd)

Defense stands strong after Stafford turnover

Jimmy Garoppolo is sacked on third-and-8 after an incomplete pass on third down and a 2-yard run by Matt Breida on second down.

Robbie Gould will attempt a 42-yard field goal.

The kick is good.

13-7 49ers (4:55 2nd)

Stafford fumbles in own red zone

Matt Stafford fakes the handoff on first down and dumps it off to Kerryon Johnson for a gain of 4. LeGarrette Blount bounces around at the line and finds a hole to gain 3. 

Stafford has nowhere to go on third down and is stripped by the 49ers. San Francisco recovers it at the 17.

10-7 49ers (6:30 2nd)

Lions force punt near midfield

Alfred Morris spins off a tackle and picks up 16 yards on the first down pass from Jimmy Garoppolo.

He rushes the ball for 3 yards on the next play to get to the 34. On second-and-7, Garoppolo hits Pierre Garcon on a crossing pattern before Darius Slay brings him down short of the first down marker to make it third-and-2.

Da'Shawn gets to the backfield unblocked and wraps up Morris for a loss of 2.

Jamal Agnew forgets to call fair catch and is hit hard by Raheem Mostert the moment he catches the punt at the 19.

10-7 49ers (8:06 2nd)

Lions go three-and-out while down 3

Two unnecessary roughness penalties on Detroit puts the tee at the 50 for the kickoff. Bradley Pinion boots it out of the end zone.

Kerryon Johnson runs for a gain of 3 yards on first down. Theo Riddick catches the ball to Matt Stafford's right for a gain of 4 to make it third-and-3. Stafford tries to get the ball to Golden Tate but the ball is just out of reach and the Lions will be forced to punt.

The 49ers are flagged for holding on the punt return. They'll start with the ball at the 15. 

10-7 49ers (10:28 2nd)

Bourne's first career touchdown gives 49ers lead

Sam Martin's kick is returned to the 24. A block-in-the-back takes the 49ers back to the 12-yard-line to start the drive.

Matt Breida gains 9 yards on first down with a run and catches a pass for 4 yards on second down to move the chains.

Jimmy Garoppolo misses the mark on a throw to George Kittle. He throws it complete to Kyle Juszczyk for a gain of 9 on second down. Alfred Morris rushes for 6 yards on third-and-1 to get to the 40-yard-line.

Morris catches a pass for 16 yards on first down to get to the Detroit 44 and the 49ers are moving with an up-tempo offense.

The 49ers are flagged for a false start to make it first-and-15. Morris gets 2 yards on the first down run to bring the quarter to a close.

7-3 Lions (End 1st)

Garoppolo finds Kittle over the middle for a gain of 17 yards to get to the 30 to start the second quarter.

A nice run on first down is erased by a holding penalty. On first-and-20, Kittle is interfered with by Darius Slay that'll give the 49ers 20 free yards and a first down.

Breida gains 3 yards on first down and Kittle catches a 5-yard pass on second down. Breida carries it around the edge for a gain of 8 that'll make it first-and-goal at the 4-yard-line.

Breida is stuffed at the line for no gain on first down. Kendrick Bourne is wide open in the flat on second down and he cruises to the end zone for his first career touchdown to give the 49ers the lead.

10-7 49ers (12:07 2nd)

Golladay touchdown puts Lions in lead

Jamal Agnew returns the kickoff to the 31-yard-line. The broadcast on Fox notes that the Lions' streak of games without a 100-yard rusher has tied a league record.

Matt Stafford throws complete to Kerryon Johnson for a gain of 3 on first down and misses Golden Tate on second down to quickly make it third-and-7. Stafford's pressured, but gets the ball off to Theo Riddick, who's able to break a tackle and get across the first down marker.

LeGarrette Blount shows nice patience hitting the hole and then bursts forward for a gain of 12 to get to the San Francisco 44-yard-line. 

Blount gets it again on the next play and goes for 2 yards. Stafford fakes the pitch and then turns and fires to Marvin Jones on a bubble screen, and Jones gets out to the 30 for a gain of 12 and another first down.

Golladay makes a nice play in man-coverage and catches a pass with nobody around and he gets all the way to the end zone for a Lions touchdown.

The call is now being reviewed. His toe did go out around the 3, but it appeared that he was able to get the ball across the goal line before that happened.

They stay with the call on the field. Touchdown.

7-3 Lions (3:20 1st)

Pass rush limits 49ers to field goal

Matt Breida rushes for a gain of 28 to open the game for San Francisco. 

On first-and-10 at the 38, Alfred Morris rushes for 2 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo scrambles right for a gain of 5 yards. Teez Tabor is flagged for illegal contact and that'll add 5 yards to the run and give the 49ers a first down.

Garoppolo throws complete to Dante Pettis for a gain of 35 and the 49ers are in the red zone. 

Garoppolo's next pass falls incomplete, but Quandre Diggs is called for defensive holding. It'll be first-and-goal from the 10.

Hey look, a pass rush: Garoppolo is sacked by linebackers Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard for a total loss of 17 yards. It's third-and-goal at the 27. Breida goes for no gain.

Robbie Gould's 45-yard try is good as gold.

3-0 49ers (6:22 1st)

Lions opening drive stalls at midfield

San Francisco has won the toss and will defer to the second half. Jamal Agnew takes the kickoff in the end zone and reaches the 24-yard-line on the return.

Matthew Stafford rolls out and hits last week's leading receiver for Detroit, Kenny Golladay, for a gain of 10 that'll move the chains.

LeGarrette Blount gets the ball up the middle for a gain of 5. San Francisco was offsides, so it'll now be first-and-5. Kerryon Johnson gets his first carry of the game and picks up 1. The rookie back goes for 4 yards on second down to pick up the first.

Detroit continues to establish the run game. Blount rushes for 3 yards on first down to get to the Detroit 47. Golden Tate catches a 4-yard pass on second down to reach San Francisco territory. It's third-and-3.

Timeout 49ers (11:34 1st)

Johnson gets the handoff and is stopped for a gain of only 1.

Sam Martin's punt is fair caught by Trent Taylor at the 10-yard-line.

0-0 tie (10:52 1st)

Pregame notes

Notable inactives for Detroit include offensive linemen Andrew Donnal (knee) and T.J. Lang (back), defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and running back Ameer Abdullah. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (quad) is out for San Francisco.

The Lions have lost their last 12 matchups with the 49ers in San Francisco, with their last win in the Bay Area coming on Nov. 12, 1975.

The Lions hit the road for Sunday’s 4 p.m. game against the 49ers, as Detroit tries to make amends for the disappointing season-opening performance against the Jets. Follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.


When: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

TV/radio: Fox/WJR 760

Records: Both teams 0-1

Line: 49ers by 6


Five things to watch: Lions vs. 49ers

Lions' Tate stung by boos, but empathetic to fans' frustrations

Lions bracing for 49ers' aggressive pre- and post-snap motions

View from the other side: Lions vs. 49ers

Detroit News predictions: Lions at 49ers

Lions' whiff on Richard Sherman appears to be costly