The Niners lost a 10-point lead to the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game two years ago and played most of last year's title game loss at Philadelphia without a quarterback after Purdy injured his elbow on the opening drive and fourth-stringer Josh Johnson left with a concussion early in the third quarter.
San Francisco has made the long road back to this stage and is poised to win its record-tying sixth Super Bowl and first since 1994.
Lions' wonderful season ended in sadness. Detroit is the only club to miss the Super Bowl in every season. Detroit won back-to-back playoff games after winning only one in 56 seasons, suggesting this may be the year to end the skid.
Despite a 24-7 halftime lead, the Lions lost. San Francisco scored a field goal on the second half's first possession before the game changed in four minutes.
Detroit coach Dan Campbell went for it on fourth-and-two from the San Francisco 28, but Josh Reynolds couldn't hold onto a Jared Goff ball, resulting in a turnover.
Another Lions interception was possible when Purdy's deep pass struck Kindle Vildor in the face mask, but Aiyuk grabbed it for a 51-yard gain. Purdy found Aiyuk for a six-yard touchdown three plays later. Before the game, a ladybug landed on my shoe. You all know what it implies, Aiyuk remarked. I can only say that. Other than that, no idea.”
A one-yard McCaffrey run tied the game at 24-24 after Jahmyr Gibbs fumbled on the next play. Detroit's luck didn't improve when Reynolds dropped another ball on third down, resulting in a botched one-yard line punt. Jake Moody's 33-yard field goal gave the Niners their first lead after Purdy led them there.
Campbell missed a game-tying field goal on fourth-and-three from the Niners' 30 midway through the fourth quarter. Niners drove to insurance touchdown after Goff fired incomplete ball.
With 56 seconds left, Goff passed to Jameson Williams for a touchdown, but the 49ers recovered the onside kick to win. Goff completed 25 of 41 for 273 yards and a score.
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