NFC Championship Preview: Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers

NFC Championship Preview

The Detroit Lions advanced to the NFC Championship game after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 last Sunday, while the 49ers narrowly squeaked by the Green Bay Packers 24-21 on Saturday night.

Detroit Lions 12-5 @ San Francisco 49ers 12-5

Date: Sunday, January 28
Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
TV Channel: FOX
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Line: 49ers -6.5 / O/U: 50.5

2023 Season Stats

Stats include Regular Season and Playoffs

Detroit:

2023 Offense P/G
Total Yards: 391.2
Passing Yards: 259.6
Rushing Yards: 131.8
2023 Defense (League Rank) 
Total Yards Allowed: 344.6
Passing Yards Allowed: 256.9
Rushing Yards Allowed: 87.7
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 27.2
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 23.2

San Francisco:

2023 Offense 
Total Yards: 396.1
Passing Yards: 257.2
Rushing Yards: 138.9
2023 Defense
Total Yards Allowed: 305.4
Passing Yards Allowed: 213.1
Rushing Yards Allowed: 92.3
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 28.6
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 17.7

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: 49ers Lead 39-28-1
Current streak: San Francisco has won two straight
Last Detroit win: 12/27/2015 (32-17)
Last San Francisco win: 09/12/2021 (41-33)

2023 Top Players

(Regular Season & Playoff Stats Combined)

Detroit Lions

Passing: Jared Goff – 459-675, 5139 yards, 33-12 (TD-INT)
Rushing: David Montgomery – 243 ATT, 1105 YDS, 14 TD
Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown – 134 REC, 1702 YDS, 11 TD
Tackles: Alex Anzalone – 143 (96-47)
Sacks: Aidan Hutchinson – 14.5
Interceptions: Kerby Joseph – 4

San Francisco

Passing: Brock Purdy – 331-483, 4532 YDS, 32-11 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Christian McCaffrey – 289 ATT, 1557 YDS, 16 TD
Receiving: Brandon Aiyuk – 78 REC, 1374 YDS, 13 TD
Tackles: Fred Warner – 139 (88-51)
Sacks: Nick Bosa – 10.5
Interceptions: Charvarius Ward – 5

Lions Players To Watch:

Offense: Quarterback – Jared Goff

Goff will need to play his best game of the season this week and can’t turn the ball over. Every possession will be key, and they will need to score points on just about every drive if the Lions want to win this one and advance to the Super Bowl. Against the 49ers in his career is 3-6 and has completed 182 of his 298 passes for 1,918 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The downside is he has thrown five interceptions in his last five games against them; that can’t happen this Sunday.

Defense: Linebacker – Alex Anzalone

Anzalone is the leader of this defense that has seemingly turned things around as of late; his toughest task coming into this game will be how to contain Christian McCaffrey, who can be explosive every time he touches the ball, if the Lions defense can come up with a scheme and have Anzalone shadow McCaffrey and force Purdy to throw the ball this game could take a turn to give Detroit the upper hand.

Bottom Line: Detroit Lions One Win from Super Bowl

There was a lot of hype coming into this season, and now here we are, the Lions, on the verge of potentially playing in the Super Bowl. This game will be a tough test as the 49er’s defense is one of the best in the league and something the Lions offense has not seen this year. Can they find a way to make the plays we’ve seen over recent weeks move down the field? On the other side of the ball, the Lion’s defense must worry about Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel (if he plays). That’s a lot of talent to try to contain. If the Lions’ defense can force Purdy not to have time and watch what the Packers did last week, they can come out on top, advance to the Super Bowl, and keep this magical season going.

CJ

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