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NFC Championship: Detroit (14-5) at San Francisco (13-5)
The NFC Conference Championship features a compelling matchup between the 49ers, who have made the NFC title game in three straight seasons, and the Lions, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The San Francisco 49ers return to the NFC Championship Game for the third-consecutive season and the fourth time in the last five seasons as they host the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium. This matchup marks the third postseason meeting all-time between the two teams and the first since the 1983 season when the Niners defeated the Lions, 24-23, in the NFC Divisional Round. San Francisco looks to take a 2-1 lead in the postseason series against Detroit.
The 49ers are coming off a 24-21 victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisonal Round. RB Christian McCaffrey led the way with 128 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns, marking the first multi-touchdown game of his postseason career. QB Brock Purdy completed 23 of his 39 passing attempts for 252 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to TE George Kittle, who finished with a team-high 81 yards on four catches.
Defensively, the 49ers held the Packers to 194 passing yards and intercepted Packers QB Jordan Love twice. LB Dre Greenlaw led the unit with eight tackles and two interceptions on the evening, making him the first NFL LB to register two interceptions in a postseason game since 2002.
The Detroit Lions reached the NFC Championship Game by defeating the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs. This marks their first NFC title game appearance since 1991, when they lost to Washington. The Lions ended a nine-game postseason losing streak, the longest in NFL history, and hosted two home playoff games for the first time in franchise history.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The game saw impressive performances from the Lions, including a 31-yard touchdown run by Jahmyr Gibbs and a crucial 9-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Lions Look For First Super Bowl Berth
The DETROIT LIONS are playing in their second Championship Game in franchise history (1991) and look to make to their first Super Bowl appearance.
Quarterback JARED GOFF is looking to become the fifth starting quarterback to advance to the Super Bowl with multiple franchises, joining TOM BRADY (New England and Tampa Bay), Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (Indianapolis and Denver), CRAIG MORTON (Dallas and Denver) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (St. Louis Rams and Arizona). Goff previously led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl LIII appearance following the 2018 season.
Rookie running back JAHMYR GIBBS recorded 68 scrimmage yards with a rushing touchdown on Super Wild Card Weekend and 114 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in the Divisional playoffs. On Sunday, he can become the fourth rookie in NFL history to record a rushing touchdown in three playoff games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY DORSETT (1977), JAMAL LEWIS (2000) and SONY MICHEL (2018).
Wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN, who recorded seven receptions on Super Wild Card Weekend and eight receptions in the Divisional playoffs, can become the third player in NFL history with at least seven receptions in each of his first three career playoff games, joining MICHAEL THOMAS and WES WELKER.
Rookie tight end SAM LAPORTA had nine receptions in the Divisional round, the most receptions by a rookie tight end in a playoff game in NFL history, and has the most receptions by a rookie tight end (12) in postseason history.
With six receptions in the NFC Championship Game, LaPorta can surpass AUSTIN COLLIE (17 in 2009) for the fourth-most postseason receptions by a rookie in NFL history.
Including the postseason, LaPorta has totaled 98 receptions for 968 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. On Sunday, he can join JA’MARR CHASE (2021) as the only rookies all-time with at least 100 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions, including the postseason.
Defensive end AIDAN HUTCHINSON recorded one sack in the Divisional playoffs and two sacks on Super Wild Card Weekend, his first two career playoff games. With two sacks against San Francisco, he would become the third player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least five sacks in his first three career playoff games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer RICHARD DENT (6.5 sacks) and LAMARR WOODLEY (six).
49ers Seek 8Th Super Bowl Appearance
The SAN FRANCISCO 49ers have appeared in four of the past five NFC Championship Games (2019, 2021-23) and, including Sunday, have 19 Championship Game appearances, the most among all NFL clubs.
The 49ers are seeking to become the fifth franchise with eight Super Bowl appearances, joining NEW ENGLAND (11 Super Bowls), DALLAS (eight), DENVER (eight) and PITTSBURGH (eight).
Quarterback BROCK PURDY, who started and won in the Divisional playoffs last week and recorded two wins as a rookie starting quarterback during the 2022 postseason, can become the fourth starting quarterback to win four playoff games in his first two career seasons in NFL history, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (five wins), MARK SANCHEZ (four) and RUSSELL WILSON (four).
Running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY totaled 128 scrimmage yards (98 rushing, 30 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the Divisional playoffs and has recorded at least 50 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in each of his first five career playoff games.
On Sunday against Detroit, McCaffrey can become the third player in NFL history with at least 50 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in each of his first six career playoff games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers MARCUS ALLEN (first seven playoff games) and TERRELL DAVIS (seven).
NFC Championship Prediction
The San Francisco 49ers are favored to defeat the Detroit Lions in the 2024 NFC Championship Game.
While the San Francisco 49ers have an edge due to their experience, home-field advantage, and stout defense, the Lions shouldn't be underestimated. Ultimately, the NFC Conference Championship will be a close game, but somehow, the Lions will emerge with a 27-24 victory.
NFL 2024 - AFC & NFC Conference Championships