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NFC championship game updates: Lions roaring in San Francisco

In Sports
January 29, 2024
Lions receiver Jameson Williams gets Sunday's NFC championship started with a 42-yard touchdown run.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Detroit Lions dominated the ball and the scoreboard in a stunning first half in San Francisco.

They won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball while rumbling to 148 first-half rushing yards against a strong 49ers defensive front en route to a 24-7 halftime lead. Can the they keep it up to make it two upsets of No. 1 seeds in two games on Sunday? Or will the 49ers mount a rally in the second half?

The winner gets the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

Follow along as Yahoo Sports provides the latest news, scores and highlights from the NFC championship game.

Live33 updates

  • Big stop for the 49ers. Lions go for it on fourth-and-2 from the San Francisco 28. Jared Goff’s pass falls incomplete, and San Francisco takes over on downs. A 45-yard field goal would have extended Detroit’s lead to three possessions.

  • San Francisco gets points, but not a touchdown. Brock Purdy’s third-down pass to Jauan Jennings sails, forcing a Jake Moody field goal. This time, Moody converts from 43 yards. Lions lead, 24-10 early in the third.

  • The 49ers have the ball to start the first half. They need a touchdown here.

  • The Lions dominated the ball and the box score in addition to the first-half scoreboard. Significant stats after 30 minutes of football:

    Lions: 148 rushing yards on 7 yards per carry
    49ers: 38 rushing yards on 2.9 yards per carry
    Lions total offense: 280 yards
    49ers total offense: 131 yards
    Lions time of possession: 18:09
    49ers time of possession: 11:52

  • And that’s the half. Detroit leads 24-7 after a dominant first half. This is a stunner.

  • The 49ers force fourth-and-goal which amounts to a win at this point for San Francisco. Dan Campbell opts for the chip shot field goal to make it a three-possession game rather than roll the dice. Michael Badgley converts from 21 yards to extend Detroit’s lead to 24-7 just before halftime.

  • Another big conversion for Detroit. Nick Bosa backed Detroit up with his second sack of Jared Goff, but Goff found Amon-Ra St. Brown for a conversion on third-and-18.

  • The Lions just picked up a third-and-12 conversion — on a run play. Jahmyr Gibbs finds the first down on a run off the left edge. Detroit’s dominating the line of scrimmage.

  • Chase Young sets the edge, and the 49ers finally get a win on a run play. Tackles Jahmyr Gibbs for a two-yard loss.

  • Detroit’s offensive line is bullying San Francisco’s defensive front. David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs are both picking up big chunks.

  • San Franciso’s offense is out of sorts. Detroit forces a three-and-out after picking off Brock Purdy the previous possession. Lions lead, 21-7 and have the ball with 4:59 remaining in the first half.

  • Detroit is loving this. Packed stands at Ford Field to watch a road game:

  • Jahmyr Gibbs runs it in from 15 yards as the Lions capitalize on the Brock Purdy interception. Lions lead, 21-7, and pressure is mounting on the 49ers.

  • 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw is back in the game.

  • Malcolm Rodriguez picks off Brock Purdy on third down. Bad decision by Purdy under pressure sets up Detroit in 49ers territory. Lions defensive end Joshua Paschal tipped the ball at the line.

  • Nick Bosa’s first playoff sack since after the 2021 season short circuits a Lions drive. Detroit punts, and the 49ers have the ball back, trailing 14-7.

  • Of note, Jake Moody hit the extra point.

  • Big answer from San Francisco. Christian McCaffrey caps an eight-play, 75-yard with a 2-yard touchdown run. 14-7 Lions early in the second quarter.

  • First quarter’s over with Detroit holding a 14-0 lead. 49ers are driving in Lions territory.

  • David Montgomery finds the end zone from one yard out, and the Lions are dealing. Strong balance of pass and run on an 11-play, 62-yard drive. 49ers defense is struggling for answers. Detroit leads, 14-0, and another No. 1 seed is in trouble.

  • Lions are driving again. Into the red zone with a 7-0 lead.

  • Rough start for San Francisco. 49ers drive 45 yards on 12 plays after giving up an opening-drive touchdown to the Lions. But Jake Moody’s 48-yard field goal attempt sails wide right. 7-0, Lions after a possession for each team.

  • Detroit is watching:

  • Great start for the Lions. Big-play threat Jameson Williams gets the Lions on the board with a 42-yard touchdown run. The speedy second-year receiver isn’t a regular producer in Detroit’s offense, but is always a threat to score. 7-0, Lions early.

  • And we’re underway. Detroit takes possession after a touchback and starts the game with two David Montgomery runs to secure a first down.

  • 49ers won the toss and deferred. Lions have the ball first.

  • Deebo Samuel, a welcome sight for 49ers fans. Making friends during pregame warmups.

  • 49ers inactives are in. Deebo Samuel, as expected, is a go:

  • The Ravens brought out a legend at the end of the third quarter. Baltimore promptly came up with a third-down stop to force a Chiefs punt. Kansas City leads, 17-7 in a so-far scoreless second half. Baltimore takes over at its own 36.

  • Lions inactives are in:

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