‘Right where we need to be’: Lions hold final practice ahead of NFC Championship

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WOOD) — On Friday, the Detroit Lions held their final practice before making the trip to San Francisco for the NFC Championship game.

When the Lions take the field against the 49ers in the NFC Championship, it will mark one of the biggest games in the team’s history — but don’t tell that to Lions head coach Dan Campbell.

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“We’re right where we need to be. And the minute you start making this greater than it really is — which is another football game, right in front of you, and you prepare the same way, you practice the same way, you put your socks on the same way — that’s when you run into problems,” Campbell said. “This is the next game, and they’ve done this all year. Our guys have done it all year. We did things right and we understand what it’s going to take. We respect the opponent and know what they’re capable of, and we know exactly what we’re capable of.”

Campbell says this week is about blocking out the outside noise and staying focused on what they know best: football.

“The football stuff is no different than like it was getting ready for Kansas City week one. It’s identical,” Campbell said. “So I feel like we’ve handled it well.”

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Sunday will be a homecoming for Lions quarterback and Bay Area native Jared Goff. It’ll also be his second time playing in the NFC Championship.

On Friday, Goff spoke about the similarities between his first conference championship and the one ahead of him.

“A lot of similarities — on the road, against a good team. It’ll be a tough matchup regardless of how the game goes. It’ll be a four-quarter game,” Goff said.

Following their final practice and preparations, players say they’re just hungry to play Sunday.

“I can’t stop thinking about it, feel like words can’t even describe the excitement that I feel and my teammates feel,” Lions defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu said.

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The Lions also have another opportunity to play with the same grit they’ve shown all season.

“When you play against us, some people don’t know what to expect,” Derrick Barnes, Lions linebacker, said. “They think, ‘Oh, it’s the Detroit Lions’ … until you play us, and it’s like, ‘Oh, they’re the real deal.’ So, a lot of confidence in our team.”

The Lions and 49ers will play Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

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