Pi News –
Brock Purdy threw for 267 yards and a touchdown and the San Francisco 49ers rallied from 17 points down at halftime to beat the visiting Detroit Lions 34-31 on Sunday and reach the Super Bowl.
The 49ers (14-5) scored 17 points in an eight-minute span in the third quarter to tie the NFC title game and set up a fourth-quarter rematch with Kansas City after losing to the Super Bowl. four years ago.
San Francisco came back from down 17 points or more in the conference title game for the fourth time thanks to big plays from Purdy and bad mistakes by the Lions (14-6), including two failed fourth downs. Detroit missed the first Super Bowl in franchise history.
After questioning whether he could manage a comeback, Purdy did it twice in as many weeks. He made the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to beat Green Bay last week and then came back even bigger against the Lions.
Christian McCaffrey had two TD runs and little-used backup Elijah Mitchell scored on a three-yard run to make it 34-24 with 3:02 to play as the Niners moved over the top of the conference title game after losing the last two seasons.
The Niners blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams two years ago and then were without a quarterback for much of last year’s title game loss in Philadelphia after Purdy suffered an elbow injury. had to play. opening drive and fourth-stringer Josh Johnson left early in the third quarter with a concussion.
But San Francisco was able to make the long trip back to that stage and is now on track for a franchise-record sixth Super Bowl title and first since the 1994 season.
The drought continues
A magical season for the Lions ended in a heartbeat. Detroit remains the only team in the Super Bowl era to go every season without reaching the final game. It could have been the year that ended the drought when Detroit won back-to-back playoff games after winning just one in the previous 56 seasons.
But the Lions couldn’t get the job done despite holding a 24-7 lead.
San Francisco settled for a field goal four minutes into the first down of the second half until the game turned around.
Detroit coach Dan Campbell opted to go from the San Francisco 28 on fourth-and-3, but Josh Reynolds failed to intercept Jared Goff’s pass, which led to downs.
The Lions had a potential interception when Purdy’s deep pass bit Kindle Wildor in the facemask, but the ball popped up and was caught by Brandon Aiyuk for a spectacular 51-yard play. Purdy found Aiyuk three plays later for a six-yard score.
Jahmyr Gibbs then scored on the next play, setting up a one-yard run by McCaffrey to tie the game at 24.
Things got worse for the Lions when Reynolds dropped another pass on third down, giving Detroit a chance for a touchdown, but fell short.
Purdy then led the Niners to a 33-yard field goal by Jake Moody and their first lead of the game.
Goff added a TD pass to Jameson Williams with 56 seconds left in the game, but the 49ers recovered an onside kick to seal the win. Goff finished 25 for 41 for 273 yards and a touchdown.
San Francisco’s heralded front seven didn’t answer Detroit’s offensive line in the first half, which repeatedly opened up big holes and gave backs yards before first contact.
The Lions rushed for 148 yards in the first half, getting TD runs from Williams, David Montgomery and Gibbs.
Michael Badgley added a late field goal to give Detroit a 24-7 lead in the semifinals, tying for the second-highest scoring output by a road team in the first half of a conference title game since the NFL-AFL merger.
Kansas City shuts down Baltimore
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce had stellar first-half performances, and Kansas City’s defense produced another masterpiece against Lamar Jackson and host Baltimore, and Kansas City won 17-10 for the fourth time in five years. Helped to get to the Super Bowl. AFC Championship game on Sunday.
Kelce caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown, and the big question heading into next month’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas is whether his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, can get there in the middle of her tour. On Sunday, the pop star was at it again, and Kelce, 34, was at his best.
A Super Bowl victory over the 49ers on Feb. 11 would make Kansas City (14-6) the first team to win back-to-back seasons since the New England Patriots 19 years ago.
Kelce tied Jerry Rice’s NFL career record for most postseason catches with 152. He now has 156 in 21 playoff games.
Swift’s presence has made Kansas City a much more attractive team than before, but there are more blue-collar players on the field this season. Aside from Kelce, Mahomes hasn’t received the playmakers he’s enjoyed over the years.
Instead, the defense helped Kansas City win the AFC West and win the conference in two straight playoff games against Buffalo and Baltimore. was a big part of winning.
Kansas City led 17-7 at halftime, and Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal with 2:34 left was the only scoring of the second half. Baltimore then went deep, and on third-and-9, Mahomes connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling — one of his worst receivers — on a game-sealing 32-yard pass.
Jackson could have won his second MVP after leading Baltimore to the league’s best record and scoring margin, but the Ravens allowed Kansas City’s first two touchdowns and panicked at times after that. it has been.
Baltimore (14-5) made undisciplined mistakes throughout the game, while Kansas City became part of a team that is making its sixth straight appearance in the conference title game.
With the Ravens down 10 in the third quarter, rookie quarterback Zay Flowers went 54 yards to the Kansas City 10 — then got flagged for taunting after the play. Moments later, he was hit near the goal line and the Ravens were scoreless.
It was one of several frustrating moments for Baltimore fans, whose city hosted the AFC Championship Game for the first time since January 1971, when the Colts defeated the Oakland Raiders.
Jackson catches his pass
Jackson went 20 of 37 for 272 yards and a touchdown, but Baltimore was never able to capitalize on its advantage on the ground. Jackson ran under one of his touchdown passes for a 13-yard reception in the first half, but he turned the ball over twice, including forcing a pass that was forced into heavy coverage in the end zone with 6:45 left. game
Lamar threw it at 10 and caught it at 17 😳
Mahomes, meanwhile, contested his first 11 pass attempts, and although the Ravens largely shut out Kansas City after that, it suffered on a rainy day in Baltimore.
There was some foul play before the game, which involved separating Ravens quarterback Arthur Maulet and a group of Kansas City players.
Kansas City then forced a three-and-out on its first drive of the game and drove 86 yards for the opening touchdown. Kelce caught a 13-yard pass from Mahomes on fourth-and-2. The star tight end then beat All-Pro safety Kyle Hamilton for a 19-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
Kansas City was restless. Mahomes led his team 75 yards in 9:02 — aided by an acrobatic diving catch from Kelce on a third down — and Isiah Pacheco capped a 16-play march with a two-yard touchdown run.
Kansas City missed a chance to extend the lead. A sack by Charles Omenihu forced a Jackson hit, giving Kansas City the ball at the Baltimore 33. But Kelce came up short on a third-down catch and Pacheco was stopped at the 13 on fourth down.
Kansas City was set for back-to-back calls, the second of which was a 33-yard screen pass to Rashee Rice, after several Baltimore personal fouls helped cut through Kansas City’s midfield. there was a touch.
A nine-yard pass to Kelce led Kansas City to Harrison Butker’s 52-yard field goal to make it 17-7.