Detroit Lions late rally comes up short but this is clearly a scrappy group

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions, Penei Sewell
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Believe it or not, there were a couple of positives to take away from the Detroit Lions loss to the 49ers.

With Taylor Decker starting the season on the shelf, the Detroit Lions elected to start their no. 7 overall pick, Penei Sewell, at left tackle.  Sewell struggled right out of the gate but settled in and played exceptionally well despite being forced to block Nick Bosa for most of the afternoon.

Detroit’s running game proved to be a strength on the offensive side of things.  Jamaal Williams runs with relentless authority and appears to be the perfect compliment to D’Andre Swift.  Both running backs will also see a fair share of targets in the passing game.

It should not come as a surprise that a plethora of Goff’s completions will be short, underneath attempts.  Goff was shaky early, misfiring on a few short should-be simple completions but eventually settled in to complete 11 pass attempts in a row before throwing an awful pick-six late in the second quarter.

The Detroit Lions also successfully recovered an onside kick with under two minutes to go down 41-25 and had the potential to make things slightly uncomfortable for Shanahan and the 49ers.  It was 38-10 in favor of the 49ers.

Late in the fourth quarter on third and long, Samuel caught a first down pass that would seal the contest, but Trey Flowers, 15 yards away from the line of scrimmage, did not give up on the play and punched the football out, forcing a turnover.

The Lions marched into San Francisco territory needing a touchdown and their third successful two-point conversion to force overtime and came up just short.  But those are the types of efforts that show up on film.  When your leaders out there making plays late, it translates down throughout the lineup.