49ers complete comeback of the ages, improbably beat Lions in NFC Championship

That just happened...
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Final. 34. 42. 49ers-Lions final. 31. 50

The 49ers were dead in the first half against the Lions in the NFC Championship game, but that's why there are two halves played.

For those of you who thought the San Francisco 49ers' come-from-behind win over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs was something, stop. Then begin to chew on what just happened versus the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

Yes, it happened.

Forget for a moment that the Niners are going back to the Super Bowl for a grudge match against the Kansas City Chiefs. That's tomorrow's storyline.

For tonight, it's the fact quarterback Brock Purdy and Co. were down 17 points, losing to head coach Dan Campbell's team 24-7 in the third quarter. For all intents and purposes, San Francisco was dead in the water with nothing going its way.

Until it all did.

The 49ers scored 27 unanswered points between the third and fourth quarters, completely flipping the script. In doing so, they became the first team in NFL history to come back from 17-plus points when trailing by that much in a conference championship game.

But that's only a part of the story.

Brock Purdy, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey turn around 49ers offense in 2nd half

Purdy struggled early before rediscovering his chemistry with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, whose improbable 51-yard catch off a bobbled would-be interception arguably turned the momentum in favor of the Niners:

Related story: 49ers reverse course vs. Lions, storm back to tie things up in NFC Championship

Aiyuk ended up in the end zone a few plays later, while San Francisco's defense responded to that score with a forced fumble and recovery.

From there, Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey didn't hesitate to use their legs to put the 49ers not only back into contention but also into the fourth quarter lead.

While McCaffrey ended up with two rushing touchdowns, Purdy's 51 rush yards certainly helped as a crucial X-factor.

Purdy and McCaffrey combined for crucial pickups on the Niners' drive that extended their lead by 10 points, one in which backup running back Elijah Mitchell found pay dirt. And while Detroit responded back with a desperation touchdown within the final two minutes, it wasn't enough to overcome San Francisco's momentum resurgence.

As a result, the 49ers are Super Bowl bound.

But we can worry about that tomorrow.

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