The 49ers owe their success since the beginning of the 2011 season in part to their tremendous luck with injuries and turnovers. There’s no detracting the staggering amounts of talent the team has on defense, but San Francisco has been quite fortunate in addition to being good. That kind of luck doesn’t often replicate itself. At the beginning of the preseason, Bill Barnwell wrote in Grantland that he expected for San Francisco to have a letdown season for that reason. In the NFL, you just can’t count of always staying healthy and having the bounces go your way. Yet through one game in 2012, at least, they have.
You can understand why Gunther Cunningham thinks that it’s only a matter of time before probability catches up with the Niners. They’ve gone six regular season games without turning the ball over. The Lions, on the other hand, are quite proficient at coughing it up. Last week, Matt Stafford was doling out interceptions like they were SEC bro taps. If he repeats that, the Niners could get away with a turnover or two and be just fine.
But making the heroic assumption that Stafford can rein it in for a game and just focus on feeding Megatron, the main focus will be on whether the Detroit D can finally get that elusive miscue. Just kidding, we’re all just gonna take about that angry handshake from last year.