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NFC Championship Game: Detroit Lions V San Francisco 49ers – Live

Key events

3m ago

Start of the second half!

19m ago

Lions 24-7 49ers, end of the first half

21m ago

Field goal! Lions 24-7 49ers, :07, 2nd quarter

47m ago

Touchdown! Lions 21-7 49ers, 5:54, 2nd quarter

51m ago

Interception! Lions 14-7 49ers, 8:47, 2nd quarter

1h ago

Touchdown! Lions 14-7 49ers, 13:49, 2nd quarter

1h ago

Touchdown! Lions 14-0 49ers, 2:34, 1st quarter

1h ago

Missed field goal! Lions 7-0 49ers, 7:54, 1st quarter

2h ago

Touchdown! Lions 7-0 49ers, 13:18, 1st quarter

2h ago

Opening kickoff

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Lions 24-7 49ers, 13:57, 3rd quarter

McCaffrey picks up eight yards. That’s a start. 2nd & 2. Purdy finds Samuel for a nine yard gain. That’s another first down. Good start for the 49ers.

Start of the second half!Lions 24-7 49ers, 15:00, 3rd quarter

Ray-Ray McCloud looks at Fox’s kick which falls in the end zone. Touchback again!

This is Detroit, for the record. A pretty cool scene!

The Detroit Lions sold out tickets for their watch party at Ford Field — 2,500 miles away from their game in San Francisco — with proceeds benefitting local youth.

— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 28, 2024 Again, the game is in San Francisco.

The good news for the 49ers is that they wisely deferred to start the game and while they were unable to stop the Lions from scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, it does mean they will get the ball back to start the second half.

24-14 is a very different score than 24-7, especially psychologically and it looks like a lot of the 49ers issues right now involve their confidence.

You would think that with the Lions having a 24-7 halftime lead that Jared Goff would be putting up pinball numbers but he has 145 yards and no touchdowns.

That, however, is the key to why the Lions are winning. He’s relying on their ground game: David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs and Jameson Williams all have rushing touchdowns and a combined 148 yards. When that’s working, there’s no reason to go for the deep ball every single time.

The other good thing about having such a skilled rushing unit? If you happen to have a lead late, you can keep the opposition off the field and run down the clock. The 49ers, on the other hand, will be forced to air things out which may or may not be good with Purdy’s tendency to make a bad throw every now and then.

Halftime thoughts

Remember back in the preamble when I mentioned that the least probable outcome would be a lopsided Lions victory?

Well, in this first half, it does indeed look like stranger things might be happening (hopefully Netflix’s trademark lawyers don’t ding me for this). Purdy’s interception was definitely a gamechanger but a more worrisome thing might be the 49ers’ third-down defense which has proven entirely inadequate against the Lions.

Lions 24-7 49ers, end of the first halfRay-Ray McCloud receives the kick with seconds left but doesn’t get far and there’s a flag on the play. It’s offensive holding, enforced at the San Francisco 24. Yeah, the Niners will just take a knee here and go back to the locker room where they need a motivational speech of the ages.

Field goal! Lions 24-7 49ers, :07, 2nd quarterGibbs is stopped short of the end zone. It’s 4th and goal at the San Francisco three-yard line. Are they going to go for it?

No. That would be a little ridiculous! Instead, Dan Campbell puts in his field goal unit. Badgley makes a 21-yard field goal to make it a 17-point Detroit lead.

Lions 21-7 49ers, :17, 2nd quarter

It’s 3rd and 7 and the Niners can’t get stops on third down. Goff throws to St Brown for a nine-yard gain. The Lions are on the San Francisco 7. On 1st and goal, Goff throws incomplete to LaPorta. On 2nd and goal, Gibbs barely gets a yard. Lions take their first time out.

Lions 21-7 49ers, :33, 2nd quarter

And we’re back and now it’s 2nd and 6. Also, the refs reset the clock to :47. Time and space are relative things! That’s just plain quantum mechanics. Goff throws and just misses Gibbs in the end zone.

Lions 21-7 49ers, :35, 2nd quarter

1st and 10. Gibbs picks up another three yards. It will be 2nd and 7 after a brief timeout.

Lions 21-7 49ers, 1:09, 2nd quarter

As soon as I said a bad thing about the Niners’ defense, Nick Bosa decided to prove me wrong with a sack on Goff for eight yards. The 49ers take one of their timeouts. 2nd & 18. Gibbs tries to get something to happen but can’t pick up anything. It’s third and forever and it’s looking like they will get the ball back here before the end of the half unless something goes terribly wrong.

They take another timeout.

Something goes terribly wrong! Goff finds St Brown who catches a long Goff pass and gets extra yards for a 23-yard gain that takes Detroit to the SF 19!

Lions 21-7 49ers, 1:55, 2nd quarter

Goff throws deep to LaPorta to no avail. 3rd and 12. Can the 49ers get a stop here? They really need a stop!

They do not get one. Gibbs finds exactly 13 yards to keep the drive alone. My stars, the 49ers defense has picked a bad day to have a bad day.

One of my roommates came in and asked who won the first game. I replied that the Chiefs did and his response was that he was sick of Taylor Swift.

You will never hear me say such a thing, I won’t lie.

Lions 21-7 49ers, 2:00, 2nd quarter

Offensive lineman Penei Sewell is reported as eligible here, as he has several plays this drive. He doesn’t get the ball this time, instead it’s Gibbs who gets stuffed for two yards before the two-minute warning.

Lions 21-7 49ers, 2:30, 2nd quarter

Montgomery yet again and he gets nine yards here! It’s 2nd and 1, desperately close to midfield. Goff is going to stick with what’s working, handing it to Montgomery who gets six yards and another easy first down.

Lions 21-7 49ers, 4:21, 2nd quarter

Montgomery gets up to middle, picking up five yards. 2nd & 5, Montgomery gets six yards. That’s good for a first down, the Lions are at their own 40. We might be seeing a lot of ground game to end this half for Detroit.

Lions 21-7 49ers, 4:59, 2nd quarter

49ers start on their own 25 again after a touchback. Purdy’s first throw is incomplete to McCaffrey. McCaffrey gets the ball again but gets stuffed for no gain. On 3rd and 10, Purdy tires to find Aiyuk and that hasn’t been working all game! He dives and can’t get it. 4th &10. Mitch Wishnowsky is in for a rare punt.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, who also has a cool name, gets it to the Detroit 29 for a ten-yard gain. If the Lions can score on this drive, San Fransisco is going to have a hard time of things in this second half.

That is a really filthy personal foul by Detroit there. That is not at all cool. It’s a shame on a great play as well. Football is tough enough, at least show a general level of respect. @HunterFelt

— David Lengel (@LengelDavid) January 29, 2024 It ended up not affecting the Lions, but it really could have. Absolutely senseless on Gardner-Johnson’s part.

As I said in the preamble, the Lions’ best bet to pull off this upset was to take advantage of Brock Purdy’s bad throws and, well, that was a huge swing and now the 49ers really need to score before halftime here.

Touchdown! Lions 21-7 49ers, 5:54, 2nd quarterAnd just like that! The Lions are in the San Fransisco end zone again! Gibbs takes it in for a touchdown. Badgley’s extra point is on the money! The Lions convert Purdy’s interception into seven points!

Lions 14-7 49ers, 5:54, 2nd quarter

On 1st & 10 at the San Francisco 46, Gibbs gets taken for a five-yard loss. However, on 2nd & 15, Goff finds LaPorta for a 16 yard gain. 1st and 10, Gibbs gets to the San Francsico 32. 2nd & 7. Goff finds St Brown who picks up 17 yards! They are already at the San Francisco 15!

Interception! Lions 14-7 49ers, 8:47, 2nd quarterPurdy throws incomplete to Aiyuk, the two had trouble connecting all game. They try again, and no dice. 3rd & 10. One imagines Purdy will be going elsewhere this time.

He does, he throws an interception to Detroit’s Malcolm Rodriguez… BUT there’s a flag on the play. It’s still Detroit ball but there’s a 15-yard penalty for an illegal blindside block on C.J. Gardner-Johnson on the return. Terrible penalty for the Lions.

Lions 14-7 49ers, 9:04, 2nd quarter

Purdy throws to McCaffrey for a five-yard gain. On 2nd & 5, Samuel gets seven yards. That’s a first down, although he has to fall face first to get it. They’re at their own 24.

Lions 14-7 49ers, 10:17, 2nd quarter

3rd and 15. Goff finds LaPorta who can only pick up nine yards. Niners’ Dre Greenlaw gets hurt on the play, while the Lions have to punt it away.

Ray-Ray McCloud makes a fair catch for San Fransico at their own 12-yard-line.

Lions 14-7 49ers, 11:47, 2nd quarter

St Brown throws incomplete on 2nd & 10. 3rd and 10. A huge momentum shift for San Francisco if they can stop the Lions here. Instead St Brown makes a catch and extends the play to the 50-yard-line. Another fresh set of downs.

However, now the 49ers defense kicks it up a notch. They stuff Montgomery for no gain and then Nick Bosa sacks Goff for a five-yard loss.

Lions 14-7 49ers, 13:13, 2nd quarter

Moody’s kick falls in the end zone. That’s another touchback. Montgomery gets the ball first from the Detroit 25 and he rushes for 14 yards and a first down. At his own 39, Goff throws one deep but incomplete to Josh Reynolds.

Well, Lions fans. It was never going to be that easy. You were never going to shutout this offense. The Lions now pretty much have to start matching the 49ers blow-by-blow. They’re going to get their points.

Touchdown! Lions 14-7 49ers, 13:49, 2nd quarterJuszczyk picks up three yards, taking the 49ers to the Detroit 2. On the next play, McCaffrey takes it to the end zone and the Niners have a much-needed touchdown! We have a ballgame!

Moody makes the extra point. Usually that’s a given, but with Moody? Maybe not.

Lions 14-0 49ers, 14:30, 2nd quarter

OK we’re back after a slightly longer commercial break than usual. Purdy and company are in a 1st and 10 situation on the Detroit 33. Purdy goes to McCaffrey again (you’re going to be reading that a lot) and he breaks a bunch of tackles and gets all the way to the Detroit five-yard line!

Lions 14-0 49ers, end of the 1st quarter

McCaffrey gets the next two carries for a total of eight yards. A big 3rd and 2 coming up. Purdy finds McCaffrey again and that’s a six-yard gain. The 49ers will be at the Detroit 33 at the start of the second quarter.

Lions 14-0 49ers, 2:05, 1st quarter

There’s a big play, Purdy throws one deep to Juszczyk, it’s a 23-yard catch that takes the 49ers into Detroit territory right off the bat.

Lions 14-0 49ers, 2:24, 1st quarter

Fox’s kick goes into the end zone for another touchback. Purdy finds Samuel for a six-yard gain to their own 31.

The Niners know Goff probably as well as they know any quarterback in the league, but such insight Phelan’s helped them yet! @HunterFelt

— David Lengel (@LengelDavid) January 29, 2024 The 49ers defense should be one of their strengths but they have not been at their best here. I am very much surprised to be honest.

The 49ers are going to have to score something on this drive just to shake off this bad start.

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