Detroit Lions 31 34 San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy and Christian

Detroit Lions 31-34 San Francisco 49ers: Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey inspire their team to a remarkable second-half comeback as they prepare for a Super Bowl rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas

Step aside, Taylor Swift. Mr. Irrelevant and his own band of superstars are headed to the Super Bowl after the San Francisco 49ers defeat the Detroit Lions in a remarkable comeback.

Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Nick Bosa all contributed, but it was two Brock Purdy passes in a matter of minutes that changed the course of this game in the third quarter.

Yes, the 49ers were once again frightened by Dan Campbell's team here – a week after they also beat the Green Bay Packers – but it is the hallmark of champions to recover from the jaws of defeat to fight for victory.

Kyle Shanahan's team was completely lifeless on both sides of the ball for two and a half quarters. The atmosphere at Levi's Stadium was flat.

But Purdy banished his demons from that night in Philadelphia 12 months ago, when he was sidelined by an elbow injury, and began a turnaround for the ages, winning the NFC Championship.

The San Francisco 49ers reach the Super Bowl after defeating the Detroit Lions on Sunday

Brandon Aiyuk caught the ball after it bounced off Kindle Vildor, giving the 49ers a huge lead

Brandon Aiyuk caught the ball after it bounced off Kindle Vildor, giving the 49ers a huge lead

Christian McCaffrey scored two touchdowns and turned the game in San Francisco's favor

Christian McCaffrey scored two touchdowns and turned the game in San Francisco's favor

Brock Purdy celebrates after handing the ball to McCaffrey for his second goal of the game

Brock Purdy celebrates after handing the ball to McCaffrey for his second goal of the game

Now they travel to Las Vegas with the aim of righting another wrong. They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in a spectacular 51-point Super Bowl in 2020, and it promises to be another epic game this year too.

As for the Lions, they played the first half with the courage Campbell demands. They dominated the 49ers on their own turf, and while it's hard to see now, the future is bright and their momentum as a franchise is scary.

Some thought the intensity of the Lions' first NFC championship game in 32 years would weigh too heavily on them. But within 100 seconds, and supported by thousands of Lions fans in California, they shattered that notion.

They only needed four plays and 75 yards to impress Levi's Stadium. Jameson Williams confidently ended Jared Goff's first attack by punching through the gaps created for him by Detroit's supposedly broken offensive line.

Desperate 49ers defenders nearly tackled him to the ground, but Williams stayed upright and sprinted into the end zone. If that didn't discourage the home crowd, then what came next certainly did.

After 49ers kicker Jake Moody missed his first field goal attempt from 48 yards, Goff and the Lions picked up right where they left off.

He meticulously led them down the field in twelve plays lasting more than five minutes. The 49ers simply had no answer to Detroit's running game and David Montgomery came through to make it 14-0.

Jameson Williams scored the first touchdown in 100 seconds, stumbling across the line

Jameson Williams scored the first touchdown in 100 seconds, stumbling across the line

Williams' goal sparked wild celebrations from thousands of Lions fans in Santa Clara

Williams' goal sparked wild celebrations from thousands of Lions fans in Santa Clara

Things got even better for the Lions when David Montgomery shot over the goal from close range

Things got even better for the Lions when David Montgomery shot over the goal from close range

McCaffrey didn't let the 49ers lose to the Packers last week. He single-handedly led them to victory back then and he got them going again here.

He caught a pass from Purdy and turned it into a 28-yard gain thanks to brutal handoffs and a refusal to go under.

The running back then hit a shot inside from two yards out to put his team on the scoreboard. The stands were alive again. At least for a minute or so.

Montgomery almost immediately knocked the ball out of them with a 14-yard run before St. Brown caught a pass on 3rd-and-11 to break through the deafening noise.

It wasn't until Dre Greenlaw suffered a sting after a heavy hit on Sam LaPorta that briefly left him in the blue tent that the 49ers managed to force the Lions' offense off the field.

But they were soon back at it when a Purdy pass intended for Samuel fell into the grateful arms of Malcolm Rodriguez. Goff punished Purdy with an inch-perfect pass through the eye of the needle to St. Brown, leaving them 15 yards short.

From there, Jahmyr Gibbs took advantage of the 49ers' weaker tackles to convert, giving the Lions a 21-7 lead. A field goal by Michael Badgley gave the Lions a 24-7 win at halftime. They could smell Vegas.

The 49ers were so bad that the atmosphere was one of bewilderment and acceptance for much of the third quarter. Moody converted a field goal, but hope seemed lost and defeat inevitable. But then a great stroke of luck occurred.

Desperately needing a spark, McCaffrey came to life with a powerful run for the big win

Desperately needing a spark, McCaffrey came to life with a powerful run for the big win

The running back then scored the home team's first touchdown, cutting the deficit to seven

The running back then scored the home team's first touchdown, cutting the deficit to seven

Jahmyr Gibbs continued Detroit's dominance in the running game by scoring his own touchdown

Jahmyr Gibbs continued Detroit's dominance in the running game by scoring his own touchdown

Dan Campbell's team dominated the first half, but had no answer to the 49ers towards the end

Dan Campbell's team dominated the first half, but had no answer to the 49ers towards the end

Kyle Shanahan made a big comeback for his team, which will play against the Chiefs in Vegas

Kyle Shanahan made a big comeback for his team, which will play against the Chiefs in Vegas

Purdy hit a shot towards the fences and threw a long throw to Aiyuk. He couldn't reach it, but the ball bounced off defender Kindle Vildor and landed in the receiver's arms. The 49ers fans were suddenly awake.

Purdy then threw a pass to Aiyuk for a touchdown and suddenly there was hope again. The dynamic changed suddenly and from then on it looked like there would only be one winner.

After regaining possession of the ball, Purdy showed off his running game with a 21-yard gain that put his team back in scoring position. McCaffrey was as reliable as ever and converted a meter from the goal to make it 24:24.

From pure control to pure chaos, the Lions never recovered. Where Goff was composed and the running game was working, they couldn't get anything going.

The 49ers took their first lead with just under 10 minutes left in the game when Moody converted a field goal from 33 yards.

Campbell is never afraid to try anything when it comes to big performances. With 7:32 left in the fourth quarter and his team trailing by three points, he tried 4th-and-3 from about 32 yards out.

Goff had to scramble out of the pocket and his pass was short. Who knows what would have happened if he had made the field goal and tied the game.

The decision to go for it was complicated by the fact that the 49ers tied the game on their next drive.

Again Purdy struggled with his legs and made great strides to get his team into scoring position. Once again, McCaffrey made a powerful run to bring the 49ers within yards of the goal.

And then fellow running back Elijah Mitchell converted to secure his team's spot in the Super Bowl.

Williams scored his second touchdown of the night for the Lions, making it a three-point game, but the 49ers held on and punched their ticket to the Super Bowl.

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