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Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers playoff game predictions, reactions

January 28, 2024
<p>Photo courtesy of Jayden Conklin</p>

Photo courtesy of Jayden Conklin

Dan Campbell, the head coach for the Detroit Lions, and his Detroit Lions (14-5) are one win away from the Super Bowl, inching closer to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Today, for the first time this 2023-2024 playoffs, Detroit will play on the road, traveling all the way to San Francisco, California. The Detroit Lions will face off against the No. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers (13-5) in one of Detroit's biggest football games in its history.

With the regular season leader in rushing yards, Christian McCaffrey, along with one of the best offensive tackles to step on the field, Trent WIlliams and linebacker Fred Warner being the leader of a stacked defense for the 49ers, the Detroit Lions will have its hands full this game.

However, Dan Campbell has playmakers of his own: Jared Goff finished second in the league in passing yards, almost 300 more yards than Brock Purdy, San Francisco's quarterback. Additionally, Goff has the second-best offensive line in the league (PFF grade) with All-Pro right tackle Penei Sewell leading the protection.

Out wide, Goff has his favorite target, All-Pro wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, along with rookie All-Pro tight end Sam Laporta and newly signed Super Bowl champion Zach Ertz. The list cannot go on without mentioning the two headed backfield of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs.  

Although most sports betting sites are in favor of San Francisco winning, picking a 7.5-point favorite, the Lions stack up well against the 49ers. Most of all, Detroit Lions fans could not be more confident in the team for this upcoming game

Jayden Conklin, former De La Salle All-State linebacker has confidence in the Lions in the sense that the fans will play a huge factor in the atmosphere in the stadium.

“I think the Lions will win the game, but it will stay close,” Conklin said. “I predict the final score will be 31-24, Lions (winning).”

Conklin not only thinks Detroit will pull off the upset, but he thinks that Lions fans will travel in numbers to San Francisco, making their home game feel like an away game.

“All of the Lions fans are going to make the (Bay Area) feel like a home game," Conklin said. "Jared Goff will pull away in the end with the help of a strong run game with our two-headed monster of Gibbs and Montgomery."

Jared Goff has a 3-6 record against the 49ers, but with this upcoming game, Goff -- the quarterback with the second most passing yards in the league -- looks to strengthen his below average record against his childhood team today.

Jayden Conklin has a game plan for the Lions today in a must-win game, including the fact that the Lions will need to have a dominating offense

“The Lions offense will have to do what they have done all year: nothing fancy, just run the ball with consistency and tire the defense so Jared Goff can do what he does best," Conklin said. “The most important factor to this game is giving Jared Goff a clean pocket. Stats show he has a significantly worse (quarterback rating) when he is pressured, so the Lions need a big day out of players like Penei Sewell and Frank Ragnow to keep Goff's jersey clean.”

Statistically, Jared Goff's quarterback rating is 0.6, very bad, compared to his overall 97.9 passing rate this season. The Lions will need Goff to play his best today to defeat the stacked San Francisco 49ers, Conklin said.

“This game means everything to the city of Detroit and these fans," Conklin said. "Many fans were not alive or old enough to appreciate the Lions last NFC championship in 1991 and the city is ready. How much the city wants this victory is unspeakable."

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