3 49ers who need to step up vs. Lions in NFC Championship game

The 49ers barely escaped with a victory against the Packers, but if they want to beat the Lions in the NFC Championship game, these three players will have to step up for the team in a big way.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Ambry Thomas, Bo Melton
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

2. Cornerback Ambry Thomas

The 49ers need Ambry Thomas to step up against the Lions. He had a few big pass-interference calls against him that cost them greatly. Thankfully, it did not cost them the game.

The Lions have several talented receivers though, most notably Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam Laporta who pose a threat to the Niners' secondary. It is important to remember that Talanoa Hufanga is done for the year, which already leaves the secondary weaker.

Thankfully, both Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir have been playing well, with Lenoir in particular having a great game against the Packers.

To be fair, Thomas has had a pretty solid season. He's also coming off hand surgery, so it cannot be easy playing with a mini-club on his hand. But he has to be able to refrain from making big penalties or allowing himself to get beat down the field against a solid Lions receiving corps.

Perhaps he will need some help with safety Tashaun Gipson giving him support over the top, but the 49ers cannot allow themselves to get burned repeatedly by an impressive Lions offense.