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NFL Conference Championship expert picks, predictions: Lions vs. 49ers

Our staff/expert picks and predictions for the NFC Championship Game between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s officially Championship Sunday, and the Detroit Lions are still in it. They will close out the night—with a 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff on FOX—against the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to Vegas on the line. For the 49ers, it’s a chance to get to the Super Bowl after back-to-back losses in the NFC Conference Championship game. For the Lions, it’s an opportunity to make franchise history and appear in their first championship game since 1957.

As if history wasn’t a big enough mountain for the Lions to climb, the 49ers are a behemoth of a team. San Francisco boasts seven All-Pro players and nine Pro Bowlers. They finished the regular season with the third best point differential, and ranked second in overall DVOA.

But this Lions team is far different than any other in the past few decades. They had five All-Pros of their own and five Pro Bowlers. They finished the year with a top-10 units by DVOA in passing offense, running offense, and run defense. They’re not only well-rounded, but they’re well coached—as evidenced by their two coordinators who are still considered head coaching candidates this cycle.

So who do we think will walk away from Championship Sunday as the NFC representative in the Super Bowl? Here are our picks and predictions for Lions vs. 49ers:

Brandon Knapp (17-2): 31-30 49ers
Ryan Mathews (15-4): 35-31 Lions
Alex Reno (15-4): 27-21 49ers
Kellie Rowe (14-5): 30-24 Lions
Meko Scott (14-5): 30-27 Lions
Jeremy Reisman (14-5): 28-24 49ers (On Paper preview)
Morgan Cannon (13-6): 30-27 Lions
Erik Schlitt (13-6): 24-23 Lions (Keys to Victory)
Kyle Yost (13-6): 31-27 49ers
Hamza Baccouche (13-6): 27-26 Lions
John Whiticar (11-8): 30-24 49ers
Chris Perfett (0-0-19): go loins

Now it’s your turn to pick. Vote in the poll below and share your score prediction in the comment section below.

And, of course, GO LIONS!

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Lions
    (1326 votes)
  • 44%
    49ers
    (1047 votes)
2373 votes total Vote Now

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