Next series, next interception. This time Danielson threw behind Norris and free safety Dwight Hicks came up with the ball on a deflection. Montana and the 49ers then got into the spirit of things by moving to the Detroit 14 but ended up empty-handed. Late in the half, linebacker Keena Turner made San Francisco's fourth interception, at the Detroit 27. The Niners failed to do anything with it. Midway through the third period Ellison intercepted Danielson yet again, and Wersching then kicked a 19-yard field goal for a 17-9 lead. Before the game Danielson had written himself this inspirational note: "Be positive! Be positive! Even if I throw five interceptions we're going to win." Well, at least he was half right.
Even Billy Sims, he of the two quick feet and the two signed contracts, couldn't lift this game from the pits. His first six carries produced zero, zero, three, two, three and zero yards. On his seventh he exploded over the right side for 56 yards but was tackled by corner-back Eric Wright at the 49er four-yard line. "Billy's a great back, but if a guy's got any speed, he'll catch him on those long runs," said Wright. Need it be said that the Lions couldn't get six from there, settling, instead, for Murray's 21-yard field goal?
The game might've been Sims's last in a Detroit uniform. On Jan. 25 the courts will decide whether he'll stay in Detroit or go to Houston to play for the USFL Gamblers. Murray, though, knew just where he was heading: to a cabin in Northern Michigan, far, far away from the replays.