The Detroit Lions have ended a lot of franchise streaks for futility this year. A division title, a playoff win (now two) and trip to the NFC Championship Game. The next hurdle is beating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, on the road, which would bring their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl.
The Lions have have won their two playoff games by a total of nine points. They have made plays when they've had to in order to take hold of and seal games, which is the key to winning games in the postseason.
Head coach Dan Campbell has faith his team won't crumble under the pressure of the biggest stage many of them have played on in their careers, and all the outside attention being in the NFC title game comes with. Campbell noted how much fuller the media room at Allen Park was on Wednesday.
"It's not about the outside things. Here we are, this is the biggest issue right now. Most of the time I come in here, there's about 20 of you," Campbell commented further. "Now there's a whole packed room, people I don't even recognize. That's what our players are dealing with, it's all the extra attention outside of the norm. That's the issue, it's not the opponent. It has it's own issues that we'll deal with, but it's all the outside attention where they're getting pulled from every area."
In a broad sense the Lions match up well with the 49ers, and if wide receiver Deebo Samuel (shoulder) is unable to play that'll be a notable advantage for them on the defensive side. But it obviously won't be easy, regardless of who's available or not for San Francisco
If the Lions are going to beat the 49ers and go to the Super Bowl, these three players in particular are going to have to up their games.