2024 NFC Championship: Lions’ Dan Campbell explains why he doesn’t feel sorry about fourth-down choices vs. 49ers

The Detroit Lions‘ season ended in heartbreaking vogue on Sunday night time after they took a 24-7 lead into halftime, but had been outscored by 20 functions within the second half of and indirectly misplaced to the San Francisco 49ers by a final rating of 34-31. Detroit made plenty of mistakes within the second half of, alongside side but now now not restricted to two varied fourth-down failures that might maybe well maybe occupy utterly changed the complexion of the game.

On the fundamental, the Lions held a 24-10 lead and faced fourth-and-2 on the 49ers’ 28-yard line. The Lions went for it, Jared Goff stepped up thru the pocket and fired a pass to an open Josh Reynolds, however the ball glanced off each and every of Reynolds’ fingers and fell incomplete. The Niners scored a landing on their ensuing possession.

Later within the game, the Lions trailed 27-24 and faced fourth-and-3 on the San Francisco 30-yard line. They went for it again, and this time the Niners fooled them by lining up in a person coverage ogle and as a substitute of shedding into zone, forcing Goff to freelance and protect shut a ogle at to search out an open receiver downfield, most effective for his pass to tumble harmlessly incomplete.

Following the game, Lions coach Dan Campbell defined why he chose to hurry for it on those fourth-down plays.

“I appropriate felt truly upright about us converting, and getting our momentum, and now now not letting them play long ball,” Campbell mentioned. “They had been bleeding the clock out. That’s what they enact. And I needed to rep the upper hand abet. It be easy hindsight, and I rep it. I rep that. Nonetheless I rep now now not feel sorry about those choices. And that’s the explanation annoying. , it be annoying. Because we didn’t come thru, it wasn’t ready to determine. Nonetheless I rep now now not. I rep now now not. And I label the scrutiny I will rep, and that is the explanation portion of the gig, man. Nonetheless we appropriate … it appropriate didn’t determine.”

And right here is the video of a clearly distraught Campbell giving that acknowledge, courtesy of CBS Sports HQ:

Campbell’s Lions had been the NFL’s most aggressive fourth-down team all around the usual season, going for it 33.9% of the time total and 50.8% of the time in opponent territory. On fourth-and-3 or much less in plus territory, they went for it on 18-of-21 alternatives, converting 15 of them. In the playoffs, there occupy been 2 for 2 in those scenarios before the NFC title game. 

Whether or now now not or now now not Campbell must composed feel sorry regarding the calls is up for debate, but he clearly depended on his team, and depended on his intuition. In response to Campbell himself, it wasn’t an analytics-based utterly mostly name to hurry for it, but a “truly feel” one. And he had a upright feeling because his team had been extremely a success in those scenarios before. Nonetheless love he mentioned, it appropriate didn’t determine that methodology. 

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