Wednesday , May 22 2024

Detroit Lions 31-34 San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Shanahan’s side produce stunning second-half comeback to seal Super Bowl place | NFL News

A stunning second-half comeback from 17 points down saw the San Francisco 49ers end the Detriot Lions’ dreams of reaching their first Super Bowl with a 34-31 win in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

Rushing touchdowns from Jameson Williams, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs helped the Lions into a 24-7 lead at half-time at Levi’s Stadium, with the host 49ers struggling to get going on offense aside from a solitary touchdown from Christian McCaffrey.

But a bizarre sequence of events saw San Francisco wipe out that deficit in the space of eight minutes in the third quarter as Brandon Aiyuk reeled in a pass to score and McCaffrey burst through for his 25th touchdown of the season.

A field goal from Jake Moody and another rushing touchdown from Elijah Mitchell in the final quarter made it 27 unanswered points from the home side and although Williams grabbed a late touchdown, there was no stopping the 49ers from booking a trip to Las Vegas to face the Kansas City Chiefs in a Super Bowl LIV rematch in two weeks’ time.

Seeking to reach the NFL’s showpiece game for the first time in the Super Bowl era, the Lions could hardly have asked for a better start as their opening drive was finished off by a 42-yard rush from Williams for a touchdown.

San Francisco kicker Moody then missed a 48-yard field goal attempt after Detroit’s defense stopped the home side’s first drive, and the Lions responded by putting together an 11-play, 62-yard drive which was finished by Montgomery bursting over from one yard out.

A 23-yard reception from Kyle Juszczyk at the end of the first quarter helped set up the 49ers to strike back early in the second with McCaffrey running in from two yards for his side’s first touchdown of the game.

But Malcolm Rodrigues’ interception from a tipped pass by Brock Purdy, even with the Lions being hit with a 15-yard penalty for an illegal blindside block by CJ Gardner-Johnson, set up Detroit for their third touchdown as Gibbs ghosted through the 49ers defense on a 15-yard run.

A conversion for a first down on third-and-16 then set up Michael Badgley to kick a 21-yard field goal just before half-time and send the Lions into the break with a 17-point lead, although that was trimmed by three points thanks to Moody’s 43-yard field goal early in the third quarter.

Detroit’s failure to convert on fourth down was followed by San Francisco making it a one-possession game after Aiyuk seized on a piece of good fortune, making the catch after Purdy’s throw hit Kindle Vildor in the facemask and bounced up kindly for the receiver within five yards of the endzone, and then catching for a TD three plays later.

Things went from bad to worse for the Lions straight after the restart as Arik Armstead recovered a fumble by Gibbs and the 49ers marched downfield for running back McCaffrey to grab his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run, followed by Moody’s extra point levelling the game.

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San Francisco 49ers wideout Brandon Aiyuk takes a pair of catches to both set up and score a touchdown, including a wild ricochet grab off the helmet of Kindle Vildor.

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Moody kicked the 49ers ahead for the first time with 9.52 remaining in the fourth quarter, while another failed fourth-down conversion attempt from the Lions was followed by another drive from the hosts which ended with Mitchell rushing from close range for a touchdown with just over three minutes to go.

The Lions managed to put together a drive which led to Jared Goff finding Williams with a three-yard pass for a touchdown inside the two-minute warning, but their failure to recover the onside kick allowed San Francisco to see out the game and continue their search for a first Super Bowl win since 1995.

Stats leaders:

Detroit Lions

  • Passing: Jared Goff, 25/41, 273 yards, 1 TD.
  • Rushing: David Montgomery, 15 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD.
  • Receiving: Sam LaPorta, 9 catches, 97 yards; Amon-Ra St Brown, 7 catches, 87 yards.

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan says there’s ‘unfinished business’ between them and the Kansas City Chiefs after losing out the last time they faced off in the Super Bowl back in 2020.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Passing: Brock Purdy, 20/31, 297 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
  • Rushing: Christian McCaffrey, 20 carries, 90 yards, 2 TD.
  • Receiving: Deebo Samuel, 8 catches, 89 yards.

Scoring summary

LIONS 7-0 49ERS Jameson Williams 42-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 14-0 49ERS David Montgomery 1-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 14-7 49ERS Christian McCaffrey 2-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 21-7 49ERS Jahmyr Gibbs 15-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 24-7 49ERS Michael Badgley 21-yard field goal
LIONS 24-10 49ERS Jake Moody 43-yard field goal
LIONS 24-17 49ERS Brock Purdy 6-yard pass to Brandon Aiyuk (extra point)
LIONS 24-24 49ERS Christian McCaffrey 1-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 24-27 49ERS Jake Moody 33-yard field goal
LIONS 24-34 49ERS Elijah Mitchell 3-yard rush (extra point)
LIONS 31-34 49ERS Jared Goff 3-yard pass to Jameson Williams (extra point)
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What’s next?

The 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11, in a rematch of the game from four years ago when the Chiefs triumphed 31-20. Build-up begins at 10pm live on Sky Sports NFL ahead of kickoff at 11.30pm from Allegiant Stadium.

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