NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: DETROIT LIONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

BY ADAM GREENE

Our Championship Round nightcap will still technically take place in the daytime as the San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship on Pacific Standard Time.

This is a nice 69th meeting between these two franchises and I was surprised to learn the third time they faced off in the playoffs. The 49ers lead the series 39-28-1. In the previous postseason meetings, the Lions won 31-27 on Dec. 22, 1957 and the Niners won 24-23 over Detroit on Dec. 31, 1983. So, this will be first meeting in 30 years in the bracket.

They last squared up on Sep. 12, 2021 with San Francisco taking it 41-33. Trey Lance (now with the Dallas Cowboys) got the start and was 1 of 1 for 5 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Jimmy Garoppolo (now kind of with the Las Vegas Raiders for now) came out of the bullpen and went 17 of 25 passing for 314 yards, one touchdown, no picks and eventually got the Niners to the NFC Championship. Elijah Mitchell rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a score. Deebo Samuel caught nine passes for 189 yards.

In the loss, Jared Goff was 38 of 57 passing for 338 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. Jamaal Williams rushed nine times for 54 yards and a TD. TJ Hockenson (now with the Minnesota Vikings) hauled in eight passes for 97 yards and a score.

DETROIT LIONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-7, O/U: 51)

Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Broadcast: FOX

Kickoff: Jan. 28, 6:30 p.m.

DETROIT LIONS (13-6)

As expected, the Lions not only defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their NFC Divisional Round game, but also covered, which is just as important, winning 31-23. Jared Goff was 20 of 43 passing for 287 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked twice. Jahmyr Gibbs had nine carries for 74 yards and a score. Craig Reynolds had a one-yard TD run. Amon-Ra St. Brown caught eight passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Josh Reynolds had two grabs for 27 yards and a TD. The defense held the Bucs to just 89 total yards on the ground, picked off Baker Mayfield twice and sacked him four times.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-5)

The Niners got all they could handle from the Green Bay Packers, hanging on for a 24-21 victory in the NFC Divisional Round. Brock Purdy bounced back from a rough day to deliver a game winning drive, finishing 23 of 39 passing for 252 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the win. Christian McCaffrey rushed 17 times for 98 yards, two TDs and caught seven passes for 30 yards. George Kittle had four receptions for 81 yards and a score. The defense picked off Jordan Love twice, including one that won the game. 

THE PICK

Listen, I’m a hater and I’ve made that clear. Everyone in the NFL media has a team they love and, because of that, a team or teams that they hate. As a Los Angeles Rams fan, the 49ers are a team I hate. But hating doesn’t come with a bias in picking games. Money is at stake here and I think we’ve all realized the Niners and Ravens had a date in the Super Bowl since probably late November. I’ll be rooting for Detroit, but I won’t believe they can win it until I see it. 49ers 27, Lions 23

Last week

Straight up: 3-1

Against the spread: 1-3

Season

Straight up: 193-89

Against the spread: 177-105

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan and Threads at @Adam.Greene

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