4 reasons why 49ers beat Lions in NFC Championship (and 2 reasons why they don't)

The Lions stand between the 49ers and a shot at a record-equaling sixth Super Bowl. But how do the two teams stack up and how can the Niners win?
San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
4 of 7
Aaron Jones
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Why the 49ers won't win: Poor run defense might cost them

It's no secret that as of late, the 49ers have had some problems when it comes to run defense. Packers running back Aaron Jones gashed them open and threatened to win the game almost by himself, and it only gets tougher from here.

The Lions possess a tough tandem of David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. Combined, the two have gone for 1,960 yards and 23 touchdowns for the season as Detroit has had an admirable 49ers-esque commitment to running the ball and establishing the ground game.

The Niners are middle of the pack, ranked 15th in run defense DVOA, with the low yardage against them in part chalked up to being in front of most teams and making them pass more. But against a team that loves to run the ball early and often, San Francisco will have to be wary.

Run defense is the name of the game, and if the 49ers don't game plan meticulously for it, then the Lions may literally run away with this contest.