Inside are our 3 takeaways from Detroit Lions blowing their lead against the 49ers and missing out on advancing to their 1st ever Super Bowl.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The Detroit Lions treated their fans to a truly special 2023 season, securing their first-ever NFC North Division title and following it up with a pair of thrilling postseason victories at Ford Field. But their season concluded disappointingly tonight at Levi’s Stadium as they couldn’t sustain their lead over the San Francisco 49ers, losing 34-31 after leading 24-7 at halftime. The 49ers now advance to Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Lions return home to the Motor City, officially entering the offseason.
The Lions’ offensive attack was unstoppable in the 1st half
Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who may have been coaching his final game with the Lions, Detroit’s offensive onslaught in the first half was relentless. The Lions accumulated three touchdowns before most 49ers fans had time to finish their first $15 beer.
Dan Campbell’s gambling cost the Lions
As we saw all season, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was aggressive in his playcalling, and the Lions decided to go for it on two separate fourth downs rather than kicking a field goal. On both occasions, they came up short and led to points on the board from the 49ers.
“I loved (the calls),” quarterback Jared Goff said. “We got to convert. … He believes in us. I don’t know what the numbers are, but we had a lot of big-time conversions this year that changed games. and I don’t know what we were today. I know we had the two we didn’t convert (and were 1-for-3 overall). It can change a game if you convert them and we didn’t. And that’s part of the reason why we lost.”
Irony is a cruel mistress
The 17-point lead that the 49ers overcame mirrored the exact result of one of the first two postseason meetings between the two teams in the 1957 Western Conference Championship.
In a cruel reversal of fortunes, the Lions were also prevented from winning a road playoff game for the first time since the fateful meeting with the 49ers in 1957. It’s going to be an incredibly bitter pill for the Lions and their fans to have to swallow.
TL;DR (too long didn’t read)
- The Detroit Lions battled the San Francisco 49ers in last night’s NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium
- The Lions established their will in the 1st half, jumping out to a 24-7 lead by halftime
- The 49ers would mount a comeback effort that was also made possible by costly errors by the Lions
Bottom Line: What a ride it was
Despite the disappointing end against the 49ers, the Lions basked in the glow of what was undeniably a magical 2023 season. It was a journey that propelled them further than they had ventured in three decades, creating cherished memories for Lions fans everywhere.
And while the Lions return home for the earlier-than-expected offseason, you can be sure that management and ownership will be working to ensure that this season wasn’t an outlier and that the team will be in the best position possible next season to make a similar run.