All eyes are focused on Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions as they ramp up against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship this weekend. Many are still in awe with the way the former Lions tight end righted the ship for a franchise that was in a 32-year playoff drought.
However, Campbell will be the last person to tell you that he’s feeling any complacency ahead of their big game. He’s reminding their players to focus on the task ahead.
Dan Campbell Calls for No Distractions
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that Campbell identified the buzz surrounding their incredible playoff run as one of the biggest challenges his team will face this Sunday. In line with that, he asked his players to focus on the task at hand.
“You’ve got friends, you’ve got family reaching out. ‘(You’re) unbelievable, you guys are here again, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and you’re such a phenomenal player, you’re a phenomenal coach, you’re a phenomenal GM,’ and pretty soon if you forget that it’s us and it’s about the team,” Campbell said. “I think that’s always a challenge this time of year, when you get into these type of games and settings.”
It’s understandable how a team with an inspiring story such as the Lions would become the darlings of the NFL media and the league’s fans. Everybody loves an underdog story, and no team showcases that this season more than this year’s Lions.
However, this shouldn’t be a concern for the man who single-handedly transformed the Lions into a super competitive football team in three years. With the way every player in the roster has bought into his system, fans can expect a gritty Lions team to stand up against the NFC’s top seed.
Vegas Still Rules Lions as NFC Championship Losers
The Lions may be everyone’s favored team at the moment, but Las Vegas looks at their upcoming game a little differently. According to CBS Sports, the Lions are +261 on the Money Line against the San Francisco’s -336.
Moreover, the Niners have a stacked offense. While many are hounding on Brock Purdy, he still showed a solid performance against the Green Bay Packers during the divisional round. They also finished the 2023 season fourth in passing yards (4384), second in passing TDs (33), third in rushing yards (2389), and first in rushing TDs (27).
While their defense was leaky against the Packers, the Niners were a threat in the regular season. They finished their 2023 campaign leading the league in picks (22), seventh in sacks (48), and third in QB hits (122).
Dan Campbell and company understand that they’re in for a rough ride against the Niners. However, there’s no other way Campbell likes it.