(Photo : (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)) DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 21: Craig Reynolds #13 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a landing in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through the third quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff sport at Ford Field on January 21, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan.
The San Francisco 49ers wanted a significant rally to outlive a scare from the Green Bay Packers, whereas the Detroit Lions pulled away late from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on this previous weekend’s NFC Divisional Round video games.
Now, the 49ers and Lions will sq. off in Santa Clara on Sunday with a ticket to Las Vegas on the road.
This is a matchup that has been percolating as a possible NFC title sport all through the season, and now we have the primary and three seeds within the NFC going for all of it.
But how may this sport shake out, and what can we study from each groups’ current video games on this playoff run to tell us? Let’s dive in.
NFC Championship Lions vs. 49ers: Detroit Lions
The Lions knocked off Matthew Stafford and the Rams within the Wild Card spherical, and did the identical Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs hung round for some time, however Detroit’s superiority within the trenches mixed with its array of weapons and a few huge, well timed throws from Jared Goff earned the Lions a win.
Rookie working again Jahmyr Gibbs ran for a vital landing to go forward for good, and Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown for one more rating seven minutes later to offer the Lions a two-touchdown lead.
The Buccaneers answered, however Detroit’s protection got here up with an enormous interception of Baker Mayfield to seal the sport contained in the two-minute warning.
NFC Championship Lions vs. 49ers: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers received all they may deal with and extra on Saturday in a come-from-behind win over the upset-minded Green Bay Packers.
Hard rain made issues powerful on quarterback Brock Purdy, who struggled for a lot of the sport earlier than in the end engineering a game-winning drive to ship his staff to the NFC Championship sport for a second consecutive 12 months.
Star working again Christian McCaffrey was a dominant power, as he ran for 2 touchdowns together with the game-winner to go along with 98 speeding yards.
The Niner protection struggled to comprise Jordan Love and the Packers for a lot of the sport, however held them to zero factors within the all-important fourth quarter to do their half within the win.
The unfavourable popping out of this one for San Francisco was the shoulder damage to Deebo Samuel that precluded his return to the sport. His availability for this sport is unclear.
NFC Championship Lions vs. 49ers: Preview
San Francisco will enter this sport as a rightful favourite. Detroit’s protection is a weak level that quite a few opponents have been in a position to exploit to various levels of success in current weeks, and the 49ers boast probably the most potent offense within the league with star tight finish George Kittle and receiver Brandon Aiyuk becoming a member of Samuel and McCaffrey to compose a really unimaginably robust steady of weapons.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is an professional lever-puller and may have a great plan to assault Detroit’s protection, and Purdy has confirmed totally able to executing these plans and spreading the ball round to these weapons.
But the Lions are removed from with out hope on this matchup. The 49ers misplaced 4 video games this common season. One got here in Week 18 to the Rams with a lot of the starters resting, and the opposite three all got here in a row whereas Samuel was sidelined with an damage.
The 49ers are deadly with their full complement of weapons, but when certainly one of them is out with an damage, like Samuel is likely to be Sunday, they develop into a lot simpler to defend.
Detroit’s offense is a power to be reckoned with in its personal proper. A dominant offensive line affords Jared Goff the time to search out weapons like St. Brown and breakout star rookie tight finish Sam LaPorta. The line additionally makes Detroit’s floor sport with Gibbs and veteran David Montgomery powerful to cease.
San Francisco’s protection is way from a weak level, and the matchup between the 49ers edge rushers in Nick Bosa and Chase Young in opposition to that Detroit offensive entrance can be enormous in figuring out how a lot of an opportunity the Lions have to tug the upset.
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