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Schwartz and Harbaugh renew acquaintances

The Sports Xchange

Now comes the fun part.

After surviving a scare against the Rams and winning the season opener, 27-23 on Sunday, the Lions now brace for a trip to San Francisco and the rematch of Handshake Gate.

Neither Jim Schwartz nor 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will want to revisit their dust-up after the 49ers win at Ford Field last season. But they won't be able to avoid it.

Schwartz became enraged at what he thought was Harbaugh's overzealous back slap and the two cursed each other on their way to their respective locker rooms.

Both coaches, though, will turn the spotlight toward the game, which will feature two NFC teams with high aspirations.

"This isn't the BCS," Schwartz said of his team's shaky start. "You don't win your opener and lose the No. 1 spot. In the grand scheme of things, maybe this will serve us better in the long run than having a blowout."

The Lions overcame three first-half interceptions against the Rams and a 20-13 deficit in the final 9:45.

"It's not always going to be pretty," said Stafford, who was 32 for 48 for 355 yards. "You are not always going to throw for 500 yards and five touchdowns. I am just proud of my guys for staying with me. It doesn't matter how it gets done in this league, as long as it gets done."

Stafford completely redeemed himself with two late picture-perfect drives, the second went 80 yards in the final 1:55, to steal the win.

The first drive - which tied the game at 20-20 - went 80 yards and five plays and never once did the Lions line up for a second-down play. Three passes to tight end Brandon Pettigrew (20, 18 and 24 yards) set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Kevin Smith.

Then, after the Rams took back the lead on a 46-yard field goal by rookie Greg Zuerlein with 1:55 left, Stafford went the distance again, with just one timeout. The touchdown came on a 5-yard pass to Smith with 10 seconds left.

"Just trying to go out and win it," said Stafford. "I trust my teammates and my teammates trust me, no matter what happens in the first half and no matter how bad I looked. That's what being a team is all about."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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