NFL

Lions outlast Buccaneers in 31-23 win, set to face 49ers in NFC Championship

Jan 21, 2024, 3:33 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm

Derrick Barnes #55 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after an interception against the Tampa Bay Bucc...

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We now have our NFC showdown for the rights to go to Super Bowl LVIII: Lions-49ers.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a thrilling contest, 31-23, Sunday, punching their ticket to Levi’s Stadium for the NFC Championship game. The San Francisco 49ers advanced to the conference championship with a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers Saturday.

It took everything for Detroit to overcome Tampa Bay, needing a game-winning defensive stop. But in the end, they got it done.

After scoring a touchdown to take the a 31-17 lead at the late in the fourth quarter, the Lions needed to contain the Buccaneers. They were not successful at first, allowing a 75-yard drive by quarterback Baker Mayfield and Co.. He eventually hit Mike Evans for a 16-yard score to cut it to eight points. Tampa Bay failed the two-point conversion though, with Evans unable to score the contested catch.

And after Detroits’ offense went three and out, the Bucs had a chance to tie it up with less than two minutes remaining. This time however, the Lions came up clutch.

On the second play of the drive, Mayfield threw an ill-advised pass to tight end Cade Otton. The player was in tight coverage, with the ball picked off by linebacker Derrick Barnes to seal the victory for Detroit.

The Lions now head to Santa Clara for a clash with the Red & Gold. The two teams have not met since Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. That was coach Dan Campbell’s first regular-season game in charge of Detroit, waiting two and a half years to face each other again.

Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium is set for 3:30 PM local time.

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco 49ers 

  • January 28th – vs. Buccaneers/Lions (NFC Conference Championship)

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