- Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers take on Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions in Week 1
- The 49ers are heavily favored as the road side
- Kickoff is at 1pm ET on Sunday, September 12 from Ford Field
The 2021 NFL season is officially set to begin for the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. Each has vastly different expectations.
While the Lions feel their way through things with new quarterback Jared Goff and coach Dan Campbell, the 49ers are starting Jimmy Garoppolo with expectations of contending in the NFC West.
San Francisco is expected to win 10 or 11 games, according to most pundits. Most are not expecting Detroit to win more than four or five contests this year.
Kickoff is set for 1pm ET from Ford Field in Detroit on Fox Sports.
49ers vs Lions Odds
|San Francisco 49ers||-365||-8.5 (-110)||Ov 46 (-110)|
|Detroit Lions||+280||+8.5 (-110)||Un 46 (-110)|
Odds as of September 11th at DraftKings
The 49ers are favored heavily entering Sunday’s game, with significant money was coming in on the Niners all week (87% of current wagers). The spread has now risen to 8.5 points and still may go up before game time.
San Francisco’s odds to win outright have ranged from -300 to -400, while the odds on the under have wavered between 45.5 and 47 (now 46).
Week 1 Injury Report: 49ers vs Lions
|49ers||Injury / Status||Lions||Injury / Status|
|Jalen Hurd, WR||Knee, OUT||Taylor Decker, T||Finger, OUT|
|Emmanuel Moseley, CB||Knee, Doubtful||Nick Williams, DE||Elbow, Questionable|
|Javon Kinlaw, DT||Knee, Doubtful||Michael Brockers, DE||Shoulder, Questionable|
|Kevin Givens, DT||Hip, Questionable||AJ Parker, CB||Shoulder, Questionable|
Hurd is not a significant loss for the 49ers. Emmanuel Moseley and Javon Kinlaw impact some defensive depth and little else. Nick Bosa is fine and will play without limitation.
Taylor Decker not playing will impact the Lions. Watch for the status of players like Nick Williams and Michael Brockers. Detroit needs all the help they can get on the defensive side of the ball.
Garoppolo Looking to Bounce Back in San Francisco
2019 was a dream season for Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense. Garoppolo went 13-3 as the starter as San Francisco lost in the Super Bowl. He tossed 27 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions, led the league with four fourth-quarter comebacks, and managed games well.
But after an injury-plagued 2020, Trey Lance was drafted third overall by San Francisco. He is clearly the quarterback of the future but Garoppolo is the quarterback of the present. The time and pressure are on him now. Lance will be implemented in the offense, which should help the signal-caller.
"Jimmy's been very mature, gracious & a terrific teammate in working to help a rookie who is there to ostensibly take his job. He IS the starter and he's been a good teammate."@AmyTrask told us that Jimmy's handled this situation as well as possible.
— Damon, Ratto & Kolsky (@DRK957) September 10, 2021
Again, Garoppolo has better health and Lance as an occasional weapon. Detroit was also one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year — especially against the run (28th) and dead last versus the pass. Kyle Shanahan will probably not ask Garoppolo to pass more than 30 times but the starter should have chances to look downfield.
Now, which Garoppolo do we see?
Jimmy Garoppolo 2019 vs 2020
|77.9||PFF Offensive Grade||67.5|
The big concern with Garoppolo is always going to be the injury history. He missed nearly all of 2018 and most of 2020 due to injury. With the quarterback at the age 30 year, it was clear a future plan needed to be enacted. This could very well be his last stand in San Francisco and audition for a future team.
Detroit Lions 2020 defensive ranks
Total defense – 32nd
Scoring defense – 32nd
Passing defense – 30th
Rushing defense – 28th
Expect Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense to light up the scoreboard this weekend
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) September 8, 2021
They’ll be going up against a Lions defense that claims they are improved but could take time to gel. With several injuries to depth players, Detroit will be tested on that side of the ball as San Francisco’s balance could be quite successful from the start.
Expect Garoppolo to have one of his better weeks of 2021 in Week 1.
Goff Hopes for Fresh Start
After the drama surrounding Goff in 2020 with the Los Angeles Rams, he was traded to the Detroit Lions as Matthew Stafford went the other way.
Goff now is under an offense with arguably fewer weapons and a coach on his second tour of the NFL in Dan Campbell (ranked 31st out of 32 coaches). After steadily declining in his previous three seasons in Los Angeles, the sixth-year quarterback gets a second chance in Detroit.
After throwing for just 20 touchdowns last season and seeing a dip of nearly 80 attempts, Goff should be able to throw the ball a bit more in Detroit. Detroit expects to be behind in games a good deal.
It looks like rookie OT Penei Sewell will be Detroit’s LT and he’ll face Nick Bosa in his NFL debut https://t.co/419mYOg30N
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 10, 2021
Goff could have a very long afternoon going up against one of the better defenses in the NFC. San Francisco ranked fifth in yards allowed per game at just over 314. They were able to get to quarterbacks and Bosa could have multiple sacks against an inexperienced offensive line for Detroit.
To say the Lions could struggle mightily even with Goff under center is accurate. He may not have enough time to get the ball out to his receivers. The quarterback must also limit mistakes with the expected extra pressure as well. That will not be easy.
Game Management in Week 1?
While Garoppolo and Goff are game managers more or less, both are capable, at times, of being very good NFL quarterbacks. Garoppolo enjoys the better matchup, even against an upstart defense in Detroit.
There’s a chance the Detroit defense can surprise here but it seems likely that San Francisco could jump out to an early lead and then play a more conservative second half. Detroit may make enough miscues for San Francisco to cover.
Garoppolo has the benefit of playing under one of the most brilliant offensive minds in Kyle Shanahan. Expect him and San Francisco to win in Week 1 on the road.
The Pick: 49ers -8.5 (-110); 1 Unit