The NFL Playoffs have been sensational and the Detroit Lions came the closest that they ever had to a Super Bowl this season and it all came crashing down in the second half against the San Francisco 49ers. Many have blamed the loss on head coach Dan Campbell for going for it twice on fourth down and coming up short both times, But Campbell stood behind those calls as they had been doing that all season. Instead, the coach admitted he made a big error on the last drive for the Lions.
NFL: Dan Campbell Admits He Made An Error On Final Drive
While Campbell stood behind his aggressive play calling on the fourth downs, as he should, as that is what got this team to where they were, but he did admit he made a costly error on the final drive for the Lions by running the ball on third and goal. By doing that and not getting it, they had to use a timeout which made them need an onside kick if they wanted a chance to win. If they did not need to use the timeout, they made have had another opportunity to get the ball back with all 3 of their timeouts.
Campbell had a lot to say about that decision on Monday saying how it was a gamble and in hindsight it was probably the wrong decision as he said they should have thrown the ball four times so they would not need to lose any timeouts. Campbell was quoted saying:
“The easy thing to do is to throw it,” Campbell said during Monday’s news conference. “Probably should’ve been the right thing, but for me, I wanted to run it. I thought we would just pop it. We had just — 2-minute all the way down the field, throwing the football and they were in a four-down front and I believed we’d walk right in, and we just missed a block. So then, yeah, I’ve got to use a timeout. So, hindsight, throw it four times. But I believed in that moment it was going to be a walk-in run. And it didn’t work out. So, I gambled and lost.”
The Lions should have thrown the ball four times and keep all their timeouts. That was a much more costly mistake then going for it and missing on fourth down.
Detroit Lions Are Going To Be Good For A While
Dan Campbell shared a crazy message with his team after the game saying how this was their shot as now teams know they are going to be good for a while and you cannot get anyone by surprise. With Jared Goff playing great football, and having the young talent that they do with guys like Sam LaPorta, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Amon Ra St. Brown, they will be one of the best teams for years to come.
They will be able to learn from this game on every level from the players to the coaching staff and they will find themselves back in this position again. The Lions and Campbell will continue to be a great story for years to come and no matter what criticisms that can be made on the coach, one thing is clear. The heart and fight this team has is exceptional.
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