The San Francisco 49ers face the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line, here's why they win the game (and two reasons why they won't).
Here we are. With a spot in the Super Bowl on the line, the San Francisco 49ers again find themselves in the NFC Championship tantalizingly close to Super Bowl glory.
This is the fourth time in five years that the Niners have made it to this point, and the scars of last year are still fresh in the minds of players and fans, as the team was pretty much rendered helpless with no quarterback at the wrong end of a rout against the Philadelphia Eagles.
This year is a bit different, however. Unlike last year with a road game, it's now a home contest for San Francisco. Also, unlike the Eagles who are a "with us or against us" fanbase, the 49ers will be facing the sentimental favorites in the Detroit Lions who have shaken off decades of futility to be one of the NFC elite.
It's been a long time between playoff road wins for the Lions, with the last time being in 1957 (coincidentally against the San Francisco 49ers).
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Apologies to all of those wanting the romance of a Lions victory, but our sympathies are well and truly muted for a week.
The 49ers were rusty in their 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers last week, so the team will be looking for a more complete performance in the NFC Championship.
But where do they have the edge to give them the win, and where are the areas that could prevent another 49ers victory?
Let's take a look.