DETROIT – Jim Harbaugh charged across the field, lifting his shirt to expose his belly to attempt a chest bump. He extended his right hand to Jim Schwartz for a shake and slapped him on the back with his left hand.
Schwartz didn’t like what was done or said – claiming he heard an expletive – and went charging after Harbaugh. What an emotion-filled scene following a meeting of turnaround teams that matched pregame hype in San Francisco’s 25-19 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
The NFC might have a nasty new rivalry no one saw coming.
After the 49ers knocked the Lions from the unbeaten ranks on Alex Smith’s touchdown pass with 1:51 left, both coaches added some highlights – or lowlights – of their own.
Harbaugh took the blame in one breath – and a shot in the next.
“That’s totally on me,” Harbaugh said. “I shook his hand too hard.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the incident will be reviewed.
Harbaugh, a first-year NFL coach who played at Michigan, had to be separated from Schwartz more than once after Schwartz came running and lunging toward him as both teams were going to the tunnel.
“I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t expect an obscenity at that point. Obviously, when you win a game like that, you are excited, but there is a protocol that goes with this league.”
Players from the 49ers (5-1) and Lions (5-1) gathered and appeared to restore order – probably because they were worn out from a hard-hitting, penalty-filled game with four lead changes after halftime.
“Ironically, I was playing peacemaker,” Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. “But this is an emotional sport.”
Smith’s fourth-down, 6-yard pass to Delanie Walker gave San Francisco the go-ahead TD with 1:51 left. The play stood after video review didn’t show definitely whether Walker’s right knee was down before the ball reached the goal line.
David Akers gave San Francisco a six-point lead with 1:02 to go with a 37-yard field goal.
Detroit had a chance to drive for a winning TD, but couldn’t get a first down against a swarming defense that hit and confused quarterback Matthew Stafford all day.
That last drive started with San Francisco’s fifth sack and ended with a catch and lateral – 69 yards short of the end zone – to trigger Harbaugh’s exuberant celebration.
“It fires me up a lot,” Harbaugh said. “If that offends you or anybody else, then so be it.”
Det—FG Hanson 25.
Det—Pettigrew 16 pass from Stafford (Hanson kick).
SF—Gore 1 run (Akers kick).
SF—FG Akers 55.
Det—FG Hanson 24.
SF—FG Akers 31.
Det—Burleson 5 pass from Stafford (pass failed).
SF—Walker 6 pass from Ale.Smith (Akers kick).
SF—FG Akers 37.
|Total Net Yards||314||310|
|Time of Possession||29:39||30:21|
RUSHING—San Francisco, Gore 15-141, Hunter 8-33, Ginn Jr. 2-21, Ale.Smith 2-5, Miller 1-3, Dixon 1-0. Detroit, Best 12-37, Morris 5-20, Stafford 1-9.
PASSING—San Francisco, Ale.Smith 17-32-1-125. Detroit, Stafford 28-50-0-293.
RECEIVING—San Francisco, Crabtree 9-77, Ginn Jr. 2-24, Walker 2-11, V.Davis 2-8, Gore 2-5. Detroit, Pettigrew 8-42, Johnson 7-113, Best 6-73, Burleson 4-34, T.Young 1-14, Heller 1-9, Morris 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Detroit, Hanson 52 (WR).