DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Jim Harbaugh head coach of the San Francisco 49ers argues with Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions during the NFL game at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers meet on Sunday Night Football this week in an important, early NFC contest.
The Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers clash in Candlestick Park on Sunday Night Football this week on NBC. A matchup that would have been of anything but primetime quality a couple seasons back now matches two squads with Super Bowl aspirations.
The Lions and Niners both enter Sunday night's game with a Week 1 win. San Francisco went into Lambeau Field and took an impressive 30-22 victory back to the bay, while Detroit needed all 60 minutes to beat St. Louis at home, 27-23. 49ers quarterback Alex Smith completed 20 of 26 passes for 211 yards and two scores, while Matthew Stafford threw three picks, but completed 32 passes for 355 yards and a touchdown in leading his team to a comeback win.
The 49ers beat the Lions, 25-19, last year on Oct. 16, a game that ended with a mini-controversy when San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh gave a bit of a backslap to Detroit coach Jim Schwartz. Ravens coach John Harbaugh (brother of Jim) had a gem for reporters this week that contextualized last year's spat:
"I don't think there's been so much attention paid to a handshake since Grant and Lee shook hands at Appomattox."
NBC will cover the game on Sunday Night Football, with kickoff coming at 8:20 p.m. ET. The 49ers opened as seven-point favorites, with a couple books laying eight for the home team.