Final

Lions 6

(2-13, 0-8 away)

49ers 20

(7-8, 6-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, December 27, 2009

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 3 0 0 36
SF 3 3 14 020

Top Performers

Passing: A. Smith (SF) - 230 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: F. Gore (SF) - 28 CAR, 71 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 7 REC, 96 YDS

Gore breaks 1,000-yard mark as 49ers can end losing season streak next week

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- A week after getting knocked out of playoff contention, the San Francisco 49ers started slowly against Detroit.

They put it together in the second half to move one step closer to their only big goal left -- avoiding a seventh straight losing season.

Frank Gore scored on a 1-yard run and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year, and the 49ers took advantage of six turnovers to beat the Lions 20-6 on Sunday.

Fast Facts

• San Francisco won its seventh straight game vs. the Lions and 11th straight at home vs. Detroit. Its last loss in the series was in 1975.

• Frank Gore had 28 rushes for 71 yards and also caught four passes for 81 yards, his third carer game with 70-plus rushing yards and 80-plus receiving yards.

• Vernon Davis caught his 12th TD pass this season, tied for the second most single-season TD receptions by a tight end in NFL history.

• The Lions extended their road losing streak to 20 games, the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.

• Bloggers' wrapups

• Rapid reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Alex Smith threw a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and the Niners (7-8) scored both their touchdowns in the third quarter to close out the home season with a victory. San Francisco needs to win at St. Louis next week to finish at .500.

"I think it's a matter of pride," Smith said. "It's what we're playing for right now. We haven't finished better than 7-9 since I've been here. It's something we're all playing for."

Drew Stanton struggled in his first career start for the Lions (2-13), throwing for just 130 yards and three interceptions before being pulled for Daunte Culpepper midway through the fourth quarter.

Detroit lost its fifth straight game and 20th in a row on the road, failing to score a touchdown.

"Last week we said the true measure of a quarterback is his ability to move the team and put points on the board, and we didn't get that done today," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We didn't score touchdowns, we didn't move the team, we didn't get third-down conversions and we turned the ball over too much. It doesn't matter how Drew performed, the offense didn't perform well and ultimately that's the quarterback's responsibility."

Stanton replaced Culpepper last week as the Lions search for a quarterback with rookie starter Matthew Stafford sidelined for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Schwartz wouldn't say who will start against Chicago next week.

San Francisco didn't fare much better until getting a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away. The first came when Smith rolled out on third-and-goal from the 2 and flipped a pass to Davis just before crossing the line of scrimmage.

Smith could have easily run it in but instead got the ball to Davis for his 12th touchdown catch of the season, one shy of Antonio Gates' record for tight ends.

On the next drive, Smith found a wide-open Gore on fourth-and-1. Gore scampered to the 6 on a 48-yard gain. Two plays later, he dived in from the 1 to make it 20-3.

San Francisco coach Mike Singletary thought the sluggish start could be attributed to the holiday week or the fact that the Niners had been eliminated, but was pleased with the way his team finished.

"The bottom line is we came out in the second half and picked it up and got going and began to execute and created some things," Singletary said.

Gore ran for 71 yards on 28 carries. He has 1,013 yards rushing, becoming the first Niners player to reach 1,000 four times in a career.

"It means a lot," Gore said. "It was an up-and down season. I missed a couple games. It was tough, a tough year. It was a blessing. I have to give it all to my O-line. They did a great job."

Smith went 20 for 31 for 230 yards and his career-high 17th touchdown pass of the season as he tries to solidify his hold on the starting quarterback position heading into next season.

The Lions moved the ball well on their first drive, going 76 yards in 15 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal by Jason Hanson. Detroit had only three more first downs the rest of the half, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception to give San Francisco good field position for much of the half.

"It's his first start. We have to build our chemistry with him," receiver Calvin Johnson said of Stanton. "It's going to be tough for a young quarterback coming out his first time but there's plays that a lot of people left out there on the field. You can't have that stuff. We were able to hang in the first half but in the second half it was kind of the same old story. We stalled there a little bit and couldn't get anything going."

The Lions didn't score again until Hanson kicked another field goal late in the fourth quarter after Culpepper came in and the game had long been decided.

The Niners could not capitalize with points off any of those miscues, each of which gave San Francisco the ball near midfield. Gore was stuffed on fourth-and-1 after Stanton fumbled, the 49ers had to punt after a fumble by Johnson and Grady Jackson blocked a 28-yard field goal attempt by Ricky Schmitt in the closing seconds of the half.

Schmitt, signed this week to replace injured Joe Nedney, make a pair of field goals earlier in the half to give San Francisco a 6-3 lead.

Game notes


Lions LB Larry Foote missed the game with a foot injury, ending his streak of 94 straight starts. ... Niners LT Joe Staley left with a bruised knee early in the second half. ... The blocked kick was the 24th by the Lions since the start of the 2001 season, most in the NFL.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
SF
1st Downs1613
Passing 1st downs
89
Rushing 1st downs
54
1st downs from penalties
30
3rd down efficiency
2-125-17
4th down efficiency
0-11-2
Total Plays6664
Total Yards289310
Yards per play4.44.8
Total Drives1414
Passing175226
Comp-Att
18-3320-31
Yards per pass
5.07.1
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-61-4
Rushing11484
Rushing Attempts
3132
Yards per rush
3.72.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-12-4
Penalties1-104-29
Turnovers61
Fumbles lost
31
Interceptions thrown
30
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:2230:38

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Stanton11/211306.2032-6
Culpepper7/12514.3000-0
SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith20/312307.4101-4

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris18372.109
Johnson23216.0019
SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore28712.5115
Morgan11616.0016

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson79613.7030
Morris4297.3014
SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gore48120.3048
Crabtree46817.0050

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETSF
detFG7:11Jason Hanson 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 15 plays, 76 yds, 7:59
30
sfFG0:57Ricky Schmitt 33 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:25
33
SECOND QUARTERDETSF
sfFG2:16Ricky Schmitt 39 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 33 yds, 2:32
36
THIRD QUARTERDETSF
sfTD7:24Vernon Davis 2 Yard Pass From Alex Smith (Ricky Schmitt Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 49 yds, 3:22
313
sfTD1:28Frank Gore 1 Yard Run (Ricky Schmitt Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 63 yds, 4:05
320
FOURTH QUARTERDETSF
detFG3:59Jason Hanson 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 60 yds, 2:37
620