Kyle Shanahan didn't blow the lead, he made the comeback, and now the San Francisco 49ers are one win away from the ultimate redemption story.
A 17-point comeback against the Cinderella Detroit Lions results in a 34-24 win and sets The Bay up with a date against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs Kingdom in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII. 49ers vs Chiefs. Haven't we seen this movie before? The answer is yes, just four years ago. 9ers fans grumble just thinking about it.
A late fourth quarter lead had San Francisco rocking before Jet Chip Wasp, Patrick Mahomes, and the Chiefs offense came up big in the end to end a 50-year drought. Speaking of droughts, it continues for the Lions. Road playoff win-less since the 50's, and this includes the epic collapse.
This is all thanks to the work of Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey. Oh yeah, Brandon Aiyuk's big catch needs a mention. 267 yards and a touchdown pass from Purdy combined with 48 yards rushing? Not bad for a former Mr. Irrelevant. McCaffrey's 90 yards and two touchdowns were also a factor. Aiyuk had three catches for 68 yards and a score, and Deebo Samuel had eight for 89.
Dan Campbell's bad decisions on 4th down combined with several drops was enough to remind the Motor City that they are not allowed to have nice things in the end. Jared Goff threw for 273 yards and one touchdown to Jameson Williams in the 4th quarter, but several dropped passes, as mentioned before, ultimately proved fatal. David Montgomery led all Lions players in rushing with 93 yards and a touchdown.
Detroit collapses, sending 49ers and Kyle Shanahan back to the Super Bowl for unfinished business
As bad as it is for Detroit, the 49ers still have unfinished business. No, it's not shutting up Nick Wright and his lack of professionalism by being extremely biased for the Chiefs. It's basically due to how the last game ended for San Fran in Miami. They had the chance to win the game, and thanks to several miscues and failure in late-game execution, they walked off the field in disappointment.
That can change with a win, and give the Bay Area what they have not had since Steve Young last did it. A Super Bowl title. Maybe, just maybe, Purdy can be the guy to do it. After all, he did it twice in a row. Green Bay in the divisional round and now against the Lions in the NFC Championship. Doing it against Mahomes? That might be the biggest task of all.
Still, he and his teammates, including McCaffrey, Aiyuk, Samuel, and George Kittle (can't forget him), will have the opportunity. Kittle said after the Super Bowl loss that he will be back. Well, he is. But what does he do to make the most of it? Time will tell in two weeks.
The AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs against The NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. A rematch of Super Bowl LIV in Las Vegas at Super Bowl LVIII. Who goes home with the Lombardi. Is KC officially a dynasty or do the 49ers exact revenge for the pain they suffered in South Beach? Only one way to find out.