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By The Numbers: NFC Championship features contrasting histories between 49ers, Lions

Aidan Hutchinson Lions Aidan Hutchinson - The Canadian Press

This year's NFC Championship will feature two franchises with very different levels of success over their long histories. 

The San Francisco 49ers, one of the most prolific teams in all of North American sports who have had the likes of legends in Joe Montana and Jerry Rice don their jersey, and the Detroit Lions, a team with a devoted fanbase, but one that has been the brunt of the joke for decades after so much failure, will go head-to-head on Sunday with a spot in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on the line. 

You can watch the Lions and 49ers battle in San Francisco on Sunday at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT on TSN 1/5 and streaming on or the TSN App.

Take a look at the all-time comparisons for these two historic franchises below:


49ers vs. Lions - Franchise History

Stat 49ers Lions
Seasons  78 (1946-2023) 94 (1930-2023)
Regular Season Record  624-515-16 591-707-34
Playoff Record 38-24 9-13
Division Titles 22 5
Super Bowl Appearances  7 0
Super Bowls Won 5 0
NFL Championships Won (Pre-1966) 0 4
Hall of Fame Players 25 23

Sunday's game will mark just the second NFL Championship for the Lions in their long history while the 49ers will compete in their third consecutive and 19th all-time, owning a total record of 7-11.  

Despite having the significant edge in overall success, the 49ers haven't captured a Super Bowl title since 1995 when Steve Young led San Francisco to a 49-26 rout of the San Diego Chargers. Montana won four Super Bowls for the Niners during their dynasty in the 1980s. 

San Francisco have dropped their past two conference championships - to the Los Angeles Rams in 2021 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022- and have a record of 2-5 in the game since 1995. 

For the Lions, their best string of success in the Super Bowl era came in the 1990s when they won two division titles and made six playoff appearances. However, their regular season success didn't translate to the postseason, losing six of seven games. 

Their win over the Dallas Cowboys in 1991 would be their last victory in the playoffs for over 30 years until they defeated the Rams earlier this month in the Wild Card round. The Lions have lost 11 straight road playoff games, last winning at San Francisco's Kezar Stadium way back in 1957 against the same 49ers. 

The Lions, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only franchises who have not played in a Super Bowl. 

In 68 all-time matchups between the 49ers and Lions, dating back to 1950, San Francisco owns a 39-28-1 record and have won 11 of the past 12 games.

When it comes to postseason matchups, the Lions defeated the Niners in the 1957 Conference Playoff while San Francisco downed Detroit in the divisional round in 1983.