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Lions’ Dan Campbell doesn’t regret costly 4th-down calls vs. 49ers

In the first half of the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions seemed in complete control and en route to a blowout. However, the second half was a different story altogether, with the 49ers coming out determined to turn things around, and they did just that.

It went from a potential blowout to a one-possession game in the blink of an eye, and head coach Dan Campbell took the bulk of the blame due to making some costly fourth-down calls, which he’s become known to do. Even though they’ve worked out a lot during the 2023 campaign, the NFL playoffs have been a different story, but he doesn’t regret making those calls via ESPN.

“It’s easy hindsight. I get it. I get that, but I don’t regret those decisions, and it’s hard,” Campbell said. “It’s hard because we didn’t come through, and it wasn’t able to work out, but I don’t. And I understand the scrutiny I’ll get — that’s part of the gig — but it just didn’t work out.”

Although Campbell has been getting heavily criticized for his decision-making on fourth down during the NFC Championship Game, star quarterback Jared Goff loves the aggressiveness of his head coach and backs him all the way.

“I love it. Keep us out there. We should convert,” said Goff, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. “He believes in us. I don’t know what the numbers are, but we had a lot of big-time conversions this year that changed games.

“But it can change a game if you convert them, and we didn’t, and that’s part of the reason why we lost.”

With the Lions being known for taking chances like these, the team lives and dies with the results, and this time around, it didn’t work in their favor, which is a shame with a trip to the Super Bowl within their grasp.

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Fortunately for Detroit, Campbell has a talented squad, and as long as he can keep it intact while also adding to it, Detroit could be competitive and a title contender for quite some time.

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