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The Detroit Lions are back in the NFC Championship for the first time since the 1991 season and are looking to make the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance when they take on the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. 

More history could be made with a win on Sunday. Victory at Levi’s Stadium would mark Detroit’s first road playoff win since 1957 – the year they defeated the 49ers and went on to win the NFL title.

Erik Kramer looks to make a pass

Detroit Lions quarterback Erik Kramer, #12, in action against the Washington Redskins at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 1992. (John Iacono /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Here is a look back at the last time the Lions made the NFC Championship game and what was going on in the world at the time. 


How they got there

Erik Kramer sits on the field defeated

View of Detroit Lions quarterback Erik Kramer, #12, sulks on the field after a game against the Washington Redskins at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 1992. (John Iacono /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Led by head coach Wayne Fontes, the Lions set a franchise record with a 12-4 record that year. Detroit won the division and punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since the 1983 season. 

With the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Lions took on the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round, routing them 38-6. 

They would face Washington in the conference championship – the same team that shut them out in Week 1 with a 45-0 loss. In what would be the Lions’ only appearance in the NFC Championship game until this season, Detroit suffered another staggering loss to Washington, losing 41-10. 

Washington would go on to win the Super Bowl that year. 



Top song

Jackson performing

Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Michael Jackson’s single “Black or White” climbed to the No. 1 spot on the “Billboard Hot 100” chart for the week of Jan. 11, 1992. The hit from his eighth studio album “Dangerous” was released on Nov. 11, 1991 and held the No. 1 spot for seven weeks. 

Box office

The American thriller “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” was released on Jan. 10, 1992 and took over the No. 1 spot at the box office during its opening weekend, where it would remain for four weeks. The film grossed $140 million worldwide.

Median income

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the real median household income in 1992 was around $31,034, a .8% decline from the previous year and a nearly 6% decline from 1989. 


Gas prices

Gas prices are displayed on a gas pump

The last time the Detroit Lions played in an NFC Championship game, the average price of gasoline was just over $1. (STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Data collected from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that the average price for gas in the U.S. was just over $1 a gallon in January 1992.

The White House

George H. W. Bush served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989-1993. 

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