SANTA CLARA–The NFC Championship will have the upstart Detroit Lions face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 28 from Levi’s Stadium. Detroit is seeking their first ever Super Bowl appearance in team history, while the 49ers are playing in their third NFC Title game in a row.
On the line Championship Sunday is a trip to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium to be exact. The Forty Niners are one of the greatest franchises in NFL history, having five silver Vince Lombardi titles to their name.
Brock Purdy, San Francisco’s Quarterback has steadily been ascending to the status of elite QB. A prime example was his performance last week trailing late in the 4th quarter. His accuracy and poise on the games final drive helped the 49ers pull out a 24-21 victory over the Packers.
On the other side, the Detroit Lions are in the midst of an inspiring, and frankly shocking season. Their success has galvanized Detroit, a quest for the Super Bowl is motivating the Motor City.
In fact, the Lions success transcends sports.
Davy Jones, a writer for the SF News and Detroit native recently wrote a fantastic article detailing the euphoria and joy he is experiencing this season.
“The 49ers should not underestimate us because for us it is not just another football game it is an opportunity to prove something that not many people expect,” beamed Jones.
49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel has been cleared to play after sustaining an injured shoulder. Watch out for Christian McCaffrey, as the Forty Niners led the NFL with 27 rushing touchdowns during the regular season.
The Lions surrendered 408 yards to the Bucs on almost seven yards per play. Now, the Lions are removed from the comfort of their home field and will try to slow down a 49ers team that has even more weapons than their two previous opponents.
The winner will play either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Baltimore Ravens, who meet in the AFC Championship game on CBS at 12:00 pm.
Let’s go over the battle at QB. In 17 games played this year, Jared Goff has amassed 4,575 passing yards (second-best in the NFL), with 30 touchdowns (fourth in the NFL) against 12 interceptions and completing 67.3% of his attempts.
Brock Purdy has thrown for 4,280 yards (fifth in the NFL), 31 touchdowns (third in the NFL) and 11 interceptions this year. He is averaging 267.5 yards per game and 9.6 per attempt, while completing 69.4%.
Aidan Hutchinson has 11.5 sacks, 51 tackles, and one interception over 17 games in 2023. If the Lions have a shot at the upset, Hutchinson will need to get in Purdy’s face and force a turnover.
San Francisco is favored by seven points. Detroit has the fourth longest active championship drought across the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, with its last championship coming in 1957.
Since then, Detroit has lost 11 straight road playoff games, the longest road losing streak in NFL postseason history.
The NFC Championship game will air on FOX, kickoff is slated for 3:30 pm. With two high powered offenses, and two suspect defenses, this should be a high scoring affair.
SF News prediction: San Francisco defeats the Lions 37-24.