The five-time Super Bowl winners are now at home to another underdog, as the Detroit Lions are one of just four NFL teams never to reach the Super Bowl.
In fact, this is just their second NFC Championship game – and their first since 1992 – and although they have won four NFL championships, their most recent was in 1957, before the first Super Bowl in 1967.
When Dan Campbell became Detroit coach three years ago, he said the team would “take on the identity of this city”, which had been downtrodden for decades, and would “bite your kneecaps off” when they were knocked down.
He has managed to build a solid team the city is proud of, led by quarterback Jared Goff, who has regained his confidence having been discarded by the Los Angeles Rams in 2021, just two years after leading them to Super Bowl 53.
The Lions were 12-5 this season, have won more play-off games this month than they had in the entire Super Bowl era (two) and have also had a music superstar in the stands, as rapper Eminem is among the long-suffering Lions fans.