Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz didn’t get a chance to get back together last season after the post-game handshake drama when San Francisco won at Detroit. The 49ers secured the first round bye ahead of New Orleans on a tiebreaker, pushing back the renewal to tonight.
The Detroit Free Press has an interesting look back at some famous coaching rivalries where they interviewed famous pot stirrer Jerry Glanville, former coach of the Oilers and Falcons.
“The AFC Central in those days was what the black and blue division was in the ’50s,” Glanville said. “We’d go to the league meetings and they’d say all the NFC coaches, all the NFC East, West, whatever it was, come and have a coaching picture. They never even asked for a coaching picture of the AFC Central. There’s never been one taken. It was Marty (Schottenheimer), Sam, Chuck and myself. No one ever said get those four guys for a picture.”
And if they had?
“Someone would have got punched out,” Glanville said.
The world will be anxiously watching whether Harbaugh and Schwartz exchange any friendly pleasantries. In the last meeting, Detroit jumped to a 10-0 lead, but the 49ers scored the final 10 in capping a fourth quarter comeback that preceded the hearty handshake from Harbaugh. San Francisco did so by pounding the Lions on the ground, and sacking Stafford five times, though they trailed most of the game. It was one of the games that announced that San Francisco was for real, as they overcome a -2 turnover differential and 15 penalties to still win on the road against a playoff team. It came a week after they destroyed Tampa Bay and two weeks after a road rally at Philadelphia, and the 49ers never looked back.
The formula for San Francisco is similar to how they beat Green Bay also. Control the defensive line of scrimmage and not let Detroit get any semblance of a running game going. Harass Stafford and get him to make mistakes. Play ball control offense and frustrate the opponent. Almost a year later, and San Francisco is still going strong. Detroit can exact their own pound of flesh tonight, but they will have to show up with toughness but discipline.
[photo via US Presswire]