SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- The San Francisco 49ers are benefiting from the stellar start of running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.
The 49ers lead the NFC in rushing and rank second in the NFL after the Gore-Hunter tandem combined for 153 yards during last week’s victory at Green Bay.
The Niners look to keep it rolling Sunday night in their home opener against the Lions, who have struggled to contain Gore and San Francisco’s rushing game.
Gore is averaging 125.3 yards rushing in four career games against the Lions, the most of any NFL back since Gore entered the league in 2005.
The 49ers won each of those four games and have an eight-game winning streak against the Lions dating back to 1996.
"They’ve got great guys over there and their front seven plays well together, but our (offensive) line does a great job making the holes, and I just run the ball," Gore said.
Gore broke away for runs of 55 and 47 yards on his way to a season-high 141 yards rushing when the 49ers snapped Detroit’s unbeaten start last year in Week 6 with a 25-19 victory at Ford Field. San Francisco rushed for 203 yards in that game, with Hunter adding 33.
The duo complemented each other well in the season opener at Green Bay, when Gore rushed for 112 yards and Hunter had 41. The two backs combined to average 6.1 yards per carry as San Francisco’s offense moved the ball effectively throughout
The 49ers finished eighth in the NFL in rushing offense last season, but the team still looked to upgrade when it signed free-agent running back Brandon Jacobs during the offseason and used its second-round draft pick to select LaMichael James.