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When the San Francisco 49ers saw the clock reach zero on Sunday afternoon for a victory over the Detroit Lions, head coach Jim Harbaugh enjoyed an exuberant celebration that included dancing and jumping across the middle of the field. It ended with a hand shake, more of a slap, with Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, which didn't sit well with the coach. That led Schwartz to run after Harbaugh once he left the immediate area. Schwartz had to be held back to end the confrontation.
After the game, Harbaugh told reporters that he gave Schwartz "too hard" of a handshake, but Schwartz is also known for his excessive celebrations. According to Schwartz, Harbaugh shoved him out of the way and cursed at him, but there's no way to verify the validity of his comment.
The NFL will certainly look into this situation and possibly fine Schwartz for the altercation, but this would likely be a far bigger story if it happened between two players.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who had to be separated from 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh following the 49ers' win at Ford Field on Sunday, explained during his post-game press conference why he was so upset. From John Niyo of the Detroit News:
"I went to congratulate Coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way," he said. "And then I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. So it was a surprise to me at the end of the game."
Later, he added, "I went to shake an opponent's coach's hand and obviously you win a game like that you're excited and things like that. But there's a protocol that goes with this league."
It's too bad the coaches weren't mic'd up so we could verify Schwartz's claim that Harbaugh swore, but as you can see in the GIF below, Harbaugh clearly didn't take time to exchange post-game pleasantries with Schwartz. Harbaugh admitted during his post-game presser that his "handshake was too hard," but he barely took the time to look Schwartz in the eye before giving him a forceful pat on the back:
"It was a very emotional game," [Harbaugh] said. "I was just really revved up. I shook his hand too hard, kind of a slap-grab handshake and that was on me, just a little too hard. And then there was some chest-bumping, I think. ... I don't know. But as I say, that was on me, the too-hard handshake."
Schwartz had to be annoyed at losing such a close game -- including the preseason, this was Detroit's first loss since Dec. 5, 2010 -- so it's not surprising he took umbrage at being brushed off. His reaction may have been over the top, and it'll almost certainly result in a fine from the NFL, but it likely earned him even more respect among Detroit's players.
Jim Harbaugh's antics following the San Francisco 49ers win over the Lions were seen as over-the-top by Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz, and it caused a bit of a skirmish after the game. Harbaugh danced around, untucked his shirt and celebrated wildly as he headed to midfield for the postgame handshake, concluding the theatrics with an exaggerated hand-slap for Schwartz.
Following the handshake, Schwartz and Harbaugh got into a bit of a tussle, with the Lions head coach letting the 49ers head coach know he didn't appreciate the antics. Postgame handshakes are meant to be civil, and are a prim and proper thing in the NFL.
But was Harbaugh over-the-top? Should Schwartz have been mad? Remember, Schwartz has his own postgame celebration -- the big fist-pump -- and it even has its own fan page.
Boys will be boys and after an emotional game, tensions were high. It's not too big of a surprise that Schwartz took exception to Harbaugh's antics.
Frank Gore had his third straight 100-yard game, setting a season high with 141 yards rushing and scoring a touchdown to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a victory over the Detroit Lions. Gore has now rushed more than 380 yards in his past three games.
For the year, Gore has been strong for the Niners, carrying the bulk of the load out of the backfield. Through five games -- four of which he's started -- Gore has picked up an even 400 yards and four touchdowns on 93 carries. In his last two games, Gore picked up over 100 yards and scored a touchdown in each.
Gore was the 15th-best running back play heading into the week, according to Yahoo!'s fantasy ranking.
For more on Gore and his matchup with Detroit, check out 49ers blog, Niners Nation , and our Detroit blog, Pride of Detroit. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.
Calvin Johnson did not catch a touchdown for the first time all season, but still managed to have a pretty solid fantasy performance. The Detroit Lions wide receiver caught seven passes for 117 yards as the Lions lost for the first time this season. It was a solid performance, but clearly not what his fantasy owners have come to expect.
Johnson was averaging 90 receiving yards a game with 451 receiving yards on the season and nine touchdowns through his first five games of the 2011 NFL season. Johnson's receiving yards per game is up nearly 20 yards per game.
Johnson was ranked by Yahoo! as the top ranked wide receiver heading into Week 6 taking on the San Francisco 49ers who rank 23rd against the pass.
For more on Johnson and his matchup with the 49ers, check out SB Nation's Lions blog, Pride of Detroit, and our 49ers blog, Niners Nation. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.
Matthew Stafford raised the bar so high for his fantasy production that a day like Sunday actually seems somewhat disappointing. Of course, passing for 293 yards and two touchdowns is hardly something to scoff at. But Stafford did come up short on the scoreboard as well, failing to move the Lions on their final drive of the game.
Stafford entered Week 6 averaging 287 passing yards per game this season with 1436 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first five weeks of the 2011 NFL Season. He has thrown for two touchdowns each of the last three weeks.
For more on Stafford and his matchup with the 49ers, check out our Lions blog, Pride of Detrioit, and our 49ers blog, Niners Nation. Also be sure to check out all of our fantasy football news and video highlights of the best Week 6 action.
Vernon Davis has been one of the more reliable fantasy tight ends this season, but he was uncharacteristically invisible during the San Francisco 49ers' win over the Detroit Lions. Davis was held to just two catches and eight yards, both season lows. It was just the eighth time since 2009 and the second time this year that Davis has been held to less than 30 yards receiving.
Davis came into the game averaging just over 50 receiving yards a game with 263 receiving yards on the season and thee touchdowns through the first five games of the 2011 NFL season, but had the worst game of his season in Week 4 prior to the bye week.
For more on Davis and his matchup with the Lions, check out 49ers blog, Niners Nation, and our Lions blog, Pride of Detroit. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.
Jim Harbaugh is already making waves in the NFL, both with his wins and his demeanor. And it's pretty great to watch unfold. Tell me you weren't entertained watching Harbaugh dance around like a fool after his San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions on Sunday. And tell me it wasn't entertaining to see his little "skirmish" with Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz.
So what happened? Handshake was too hard, Harbaugh said.
"I was really revved up. That wasn't me, just shook his hand too hard. ... That's on me. Handshake was too hard."
This quote is the best quote. Just picture Harbaugh, all revved up and intense, muttering that he shook Schwartz's hand with too much vigor.
In reality, Schwartz was probably upset with both the public celebration right in his face and the breach of decorum following the game. Coaches are supposed to shake hands and be civil, then go celebrate. Harbaugh did it all at once.
But does it matter? Harbaugh can dance if he wants to dance, and following a huge victory, he just wanted to get down with his bad self. Next time, though, be careful with the handshake, Jim.
San Francisco came back to beat Detroit behind Alex Smith. But Jim Harbaugh's demonstrative celebration didn't sit well with Jim Schwartz.
Consistent points from the tight end position are fantasy gold and right now Brandon Pettigrew looks to have the Midas Touch. It wasn't a spectacular performance, but 42 yards and a touchdown on eight catches will surely be much appreciated.
Pettigrew is averaging 55.8 yards per game with 279 total yards and one touchdown through his first five weeks of the 2011 NFL season. He caught his first touchdown catch last week against the Bears. And in Week 3 Pettigrew went over 100 yards receiving.
Pettigrew is a rising fantasy tight end, and was ranked by Yahoo! Sports as the 12th best TE option in Week 6.
For more on Pettigrew and his matchup with the 49ers, check out our Lions blog Pride of Detroit and our 49ers blog, Niners Nation. Also be sure to check out all of our fantasy football news and video highlights of the best Week 6 action.
There may or not be an actual "Calvin Johnson Rule", but Nate Burleson at least won't have to worry about it. The Detroit Lions wide receiver made a nice catch in the back of the endzone that referees originally ruled incomplete because the ball came out when he tried to regain his balance. Thing was, Burleson had already made about 15 steps (yes, I'm exaggerating) before dropping the ball. It would have been a rather new low if replays had not given Burleson the score.
With San Francisco leading by a score of 15-13, the Detroit Lions are prepared for yet another comeback this season. If they do eventually pull out the win, they will likely own safety Amari Spievey a debt of gratitude for his fourth quarter 31-yard interception of Alex Smith.
Here’s the video of Spievey’s interception.
Smith was pressured, and with the pocket collapsing he tried to make something happen on a throw to the middle part of the field. A wide open Amari Spievey grabbed the ball and returned it 31 yards.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Nate Burleson for a 5-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it 19-15. Detroit then tried a two-point conversion that ended in an incomplete pass to Calvin Johnson, of all people.
So far, the Lions and 49ers have not disappointed in what was touted as one of the more exciting games of week 6.
Hardly the first name in fantasy quarterbacks, Alex Smith has been more than useful this season. He averages 193 passing yards per game in Jim Harbaugh's ball control offense. Through five games, Smith has 965 passing yards seven touchdowns and just one interception. Those are much better totals than any of his five previous seasons, which is why he's been so easy to overlook.
Through the first half of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, you're probably hoping you overlooked him anyway. Smith has just 77 yards passing and five rushing yards, although the 49ers do lead 12-10.
For more on Smith and the 49ers offense, check out Niners Nation, SB Nation's 49ers community. Also be sure to check out all of our fantasy football news and video highlights of the best Week 6 action.
The San Francisco 49ers seem well on their way to overcoming another slow start, now pulling within a point on an Aldon Smith sack of Matthew Stafford in the endzone. Stafford tried to shovel the ball away as he was going down, but the play was not reviewed and the safety stood.
Smith now has 4.5 sacks for the 49ers during his rookie year out of Missouri.
Brandon Pettigrew did something very NFL players get to say they've done: beat Patrick Willis. The Detroit Lions tight end made a nice leaping grab, wrestling away the ball from Willis. The touchdown was Matthew Stafford's 14th of the season in just the Lions sixth game.
Just to add insult to injury, the 49ers were flagged with a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick off when head coach John Harbaugh threw his challenge flag after the deadline. Late challenge flags were made illegal this year.
If the San Francisco 49ers' first play from scrimmage is any indication, it could be a long day for the surprise 4-1 team. Alex Smith was stripped from behind by Kyle Vanden Bosch, setting the Detroit Lions up on the 49ers 32-yard line. They would eventually turn it into a 3-0 lead, which has since grown to 10-0.
Though he's bothered by a sore foot, former wunderkind wide receiver Michael Crabtree is expected to play Sunday against the Lions. With his co-receiver Josh Morgan on injured reserve and Braylon Edwards still on the shelf, this could be the opportunity Crabtree needs to break out and fulfill the mild preseason expectations placed on him.
Crabtree will start opposite fellow underachieving Top 10 pick Ted GInn Jr. while Morgan and Edwards are out, so the looks from the surprisingly effective Alex Smith should come. What Crabtree can do with them remains to be seen. The Lions D is developing a reputation for haranguing quarterbacks, but their defensive backs can be exploited if Smith can release the ball quickly.
Crabtree had just two receptions in his last game, so it's going to take a few good performances to earn his way back into the circle of trust.
The San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions have just one loss between them heading into their match-up this weekend. Can Frank Gore and Alex Smith finish the undefeated season bid for the Lions?
Scheffler, the Lions' No. 2 tight end, sustained the concussion when he was hit by Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher while making a 12-yard reception during the third quarter of Monday night's 24-13 win. Scheffler was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent a CT scan and MRI. Scheffler is expected to return at some point this season, but needs to pass the league's concussion protocol before being cleared to practice or play.
Urlacher was not fined by the league office for the hit.
The Lions re-signed Joe Jon Finley this week in case Scheffler was unable to play on Sunday. If active, Finley will serve as depth behind starter Brandon Pettigrew and veteran Will Heller, who will assume Scheffler's backup role on Sunday.
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