News flash, these four teams are really good. The two Championship Games will be matchups between the no.1 seeds vs. the no.3 seeds. In the AFC, the 13-4 Ravens are facing off against the defending champions, 11-6 Chiefs. In the NFC, the 12-5 49ers are back in the championship game, hoping to break through this year. They are facing off against a team with the same record, the 12-5 Lions.
To have these gaudy records these teams all have to be able to win at a high level, at home and on the road. The NFC side is most intriguing. From the opening week of the season, actually from the Thursday Night Kickoff Classic when the Chiefs hosted the Lions, it was obvious there was something different about this Detroit team.
After the game, when the Lions prevailed by a point in a 21-20 classic, I was amazed that the broadcast team didn’t say we had possibly watched a preview of the Super Bowl matchup. Now, on the precipice of these two games, that rematch is still a possibility.
And as the Lions continued to win tough road games, I kept saying that this team had Super Bowl mettle. After their opening win, they dismantled the Packers 34-20. They easily dispatched the Buccaneers 20-6. And other than their drubbing on the road at the hands of the Ravens 38-6, (which may be another possible rematch), they played well on the road all season. They went into Los Angeles and took care of the Chargers 41-38. They went into NOLA and defeated the Saints by five points, 33-28. And they went into Minnesota and took care of a Vikings team fighting for their own playoff life, beating them 30-24.
If it weren’t for a major injustice by the referees at the end of the Cowboys game, they’d be sitting at 13-4, and they’d be hosting this game as the no.1 seed. This is a very good football team.
For the season, the Niners averaged 28.8 points per game, while the Lions were right behind them at 27.1 points per game. And even though they gave up 5.7 more points per game than the Niners this season, they have proven that when it matters, their defense has the ability to tighten up.
Even though they “lost” the Cowboys game, they only gave up 20 points to a Dallas team who actually outscored the 49ers this year. They gave up that same 20 points on the road in Kansas City, in what should have been the Chiefs coronation on opening night, in their first matchup to defend their title. They literally had no answers for the Lions that night. They then gave up that same 20 points total in Green Bay against the Packers.
I do believe the 49ers will score more than 20 points, but not much more. Although the Niners do have the no.1 seed with that 12-5 record, three of their losses came at home. They were only 5-3 at Levi’s Stadium. This game is not going to be a cakewalk for them, and there’s no way they should be over a touchdown favorite.
I do not see this Lions team, led by HC Dan Campbell, giving up 30 points. And that’s what it will take to beat this Lions offense with all the weapons. They have a QB who has already won this game. They have two very good RBs in Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, a solid core of WRs led by Amon-Ra St. Brown, and an amazing TE in Sam LaPorta.
Everyone is talking about San Francisco’s offense led by Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, but honestly, I like LaPorta to put up better stats in this game than George Kittle (take LaPorta across the board in any prop bets against Kittle).
I like the deeper, supporting cast that the Lions bring to the table. And I like HC Campbell to put together a defense to contain McCaffrey and Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk isn’t going to beat the Lions.
And either is Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant. He will be exposed in this game. The Niners barely survived last week at home against the Packers, and the Lions are far better than the Packers. When you combine all of this, I love the Lions chances in this game. Lions Prevail 31-27