NFC Championship Game
The NFC Championship Game is a totally different animal. The battle of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes is a battle of, arguably, two of the best QBs who have ever played in the NFL, in their own right. On the other side, you have two pocket passers who can just carve defenses apart in Brock Purdy and Jared Goff.
I have seen many people say that Purdy is not as good as his numbers indicate, as he is playing in a very QB-friendly system and has a wealth of weapons to use. While that might be partially correct, Purdy has been insanely efficient during his two-year career. Moreover, the 49ers just do not lose much when Purdy plays. In 25 total starts across the regular and postseason, the 49ers are 20-5 with Purdy under center.
That is just insane. The 49ers may or may not have Deebo Samuel. I am tying this earlier in the week, so as of now, we do not know if he plays. I am sure we may get more clarity as the week progresses.
On the other side is the Detroit Lions, who have been the feel-good story of the 2023 NFL Season. Jared Goff went from a placeholder, casted-off QB to on the cusp of playing in the Super Bowl. The Lions offense is the engine that drives this team. Their offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson, has been highly coveted for a potential head coach job this cycle.
The one factor that does worry me is the Lions defense. During their first two playoff games, they allowed 833 total yards per game and 23 points per game. Mind you, both of these games were in Detroit. Frankly, I think this game has the potential to get out of hand. Detroit may keep it close for a while, but they just do not match up well enough on defense to stop the 49ers.
Prediction: 49ers win 31-21