The 49ers host the Lions in NFC title game with a spot in Super Bowl on the line

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, foreground, catches a touchdown pass in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Zyon McCollum (27) during the second half of an NFL football NFC divisional playoff game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (14-5) at SAN FRANCISCO (13-5)

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox

OPENING LINE: 49ers by 7, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Lions 13-6; 49ers 9-8-1.

SERIES RECORD: 49ers lead 39-28-1.

LAST MEETING: 49ers beat Lions 41-33 on Sept. 12, 2021, in Detroit.

LAST WEEK: Lions beat Buccaneers 31-23; 49ers beat Packers 24-21.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Lions even; 49ers plus-10.

LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: Amon-Ra St. Brown. The All-Pro WR is one of the best players on the team, and he’ll have to be at his best to help pull off an upset. In two playoff games, he has 15 catches for 187 yards and a TD. If St. Brown has at least seven receptions against the 49ers, he will join Michael Thomas and Wes Walker as the three players in league history to have seven or more catches in their first three postseason games. In the regular season, he was tied for second in the NFL with a career-high 119 catches, third with a career-high 1,515 yards receiving and set a career high with 10 TD catches.

49ERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Brock Purdy. Purdy will join Ben Roethlisberger and Mark Sanchez as the only QBs to start in a conference title game in each of his first two seasons. Purdy struggled most of the game last week when he went 23 for 39 for 252 yards, but recovered in time to lead his first game-winning drive of the season. Purdy led the NFL with a 113 passer rating in the regular season when he threw 31 TD passes and for a franchise-record 4,280 yards.

KEY MATCHUP: Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson vs. 49ers RT Colton McKivitz. Detroit's second-year pass rusher has eight sacks in the past four games and will be a challenge for the Niners. McKivitz struggled at times against top edge rushers with his nine sacks allowed ranking tied for the fourth most in the NFL in the regular season, according to Pro Football Focus.

KEY INJURIES: Lions G Jonah Jackson (knee) and TE Brock Wright (forearm) will miss the game after being hurt last week. ... Return specialist and WR Kalif Raymond (knee) will miss a third straight game for the Lions. ... C Frank Ragnow is playing through a sprained knee and ankle while LB Alex Anzalone is doing the same with shoulder and rib injuries for Detroit. ... Detroit DE James Houston may return for the first time since breaking an ankle in Week 2. ... San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel injured his shoulder last week but will play this week.

SERIES NOTES: The 49ers have won 11 of the past 12 meetings in the series. ... San Francisco beat Detroit in coach Dan Campbell's debut in 2021 when the Lions nearly erased a 24-point deficit in the final two minutes. ... This is the third all-time playoff meeting between the teams. San Francisco won a 1983 wild-card game 24-23 when Eddie Murray missed a potential game-winning field goal and Gary Danielson threw five INTs for Detroit. ... The Lions overcame a 20-point deficit in the 1957 divisional round to win 31-27.

STATS AND STUFF: The Lions have won two playoff games in a postseason for the first time since winning the 1957 NFL championship. ... Detroit beat Tampa Bay in the wild-card round, ending an NFL-record, nine-game postseason streak. ... The Lions, the NFC’s No. 3 seed, won their division for the first time in three decades. ... Detroit has a franchise-record 14 wins in a season, including their two playoff victories. ... The Lions have lost a record 11 straight road playoff games since beating the 49ers in 1957. ... Detroit is one of four franchises never to reach the Super Bowl. ... Jared Goff, who helped the Los Angeles Rams win the NFC title five years ago, has a chance to join Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner and Craig Morton as the five QBs to lead two teams to a Super Bowl. ... If Jahmyr Gibbs runs for a TD, he will join Tony Dorsett, Jamal Lewis and Sony Michel as the four rookies to score on the ground in three postseason games. ... TE Sam LaPorta is two catches and 32 yards receiving away from joining Ja’Marr Chase as the two rookies in league history with 100-plus catches along with at least 1,000 yards receiving and 10 TD receptions, including playoff games. ... Detroit's 25 TDs from rookies in the regular season and playoffs are the most for a team since the merger. ... DE Aidan Hutchinson has at least one sack in four straight games. ... The 49ers are in the NFC title game for the third straight year and fourth time in five seasons. ... San Francisco lost the past two years and is trying to avoid becoming the fifth team ever to lose at this stage in three straight seasons. ... The Niners' 19 appearances in the conference title game are the most for any team since the merger in 1970. ... San Francisco has won six straight home playoff games. ... The Niners' 37 playoff wins are tied with Green Bay and New England for the most ever. ... San Francisco RB Christian McCaffrey had 128 yards from scrimmage last week with two TD runs. He tied a franchise record by scoring at least one TD in four straight playoff games. ... McCaffrey can join Marcus Allen and Terrell Davis as the only players to gain at least 50 yards and score a TD in each of their first six playoff games. ... LB Dre Greenlaw had two INTs last week, becoming the first San Francisco player to do that in a playoff game since Eric Davis in the 1994 NFC title game against Dallas. ... Purdy has thrown 102 passes in the playoffs without an INT.