49ers look to avoid infamous conference title losers list vs. Lions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
As the 49ers head into their third consecutive NFC Championship Game on Sunday, they look to avoid joining an infamous list of teams to lose three conference championship games in a row.
Per Josh Dubow, only four teams in the Super Bowl era have lost three straight conference title games: the Oakland Raiders (1973-75), the Los Angeles Rams (1974-76), the Dallas Cowboys (1980-82) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2001-03).
#49ers are headed to their 3rd straight NFC title game after losing last 2 seasons. Only teams since merger to lose conference title game in 3 straight seasons:#Raiders 1973-75
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 21, 2024
The 49ers narrowly escaped their divisional round matchup against the Green Bay Packers with a 24-21 win thanks to some clutch Dre Greenlaw interceptions along with a game-winning drive from Brock Purdy.
San Francisco will need to perform at a much higher level if it is to defeat the Detroit Lions in the championship game, with the Lions riding a wave of enthusiasm after their best season in decades and looking to make it to their first Super Bowl.
After losing the past two NFC title games, the first one to the Rams in heartbreaking fashion, and the second one to the Eagles in blowout fashion after Brock Purdy's UCL injury, the 49ers will be pushing to get over their recent hump and make it back to the Super Bowl.
The 49ers will hope to get Deebo Samuel back in action after he had to leave Saturday's game with a shoulder injury, though his status for Sunday still is up in the air.
The 49ers have appeared in seven Super Bowls, the third-most all-time in NFL history. If the 49ers win against the Lions, they would move into a four-way tie for the second-most all-time appearances in Super Bowl history.
The NFC Championship Game will be on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara at 3:30 p.m. PT.