HomeFootball DirtNFL Fans Crush Dan Campbell’s Late Fourth-Down Decision

NFL Fans Crush Dan Campbell’s Late Fourth-Down Decision

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The Detroit Lions had an NFC title within their grasp. After a half in Santa Clara, the Lions’ 24-7 lead over the San Francisco 49ers seemed insurmountable. Everything was rolling for Detroit — even a capacity watch party crowd at Ford Field.

Then, an epic second-half collapse ensued.

As the wheels came off for the Lions in a disheartening NFC title game loss, one sequence probably stood out the most. With a Detroit fourth-quarter drive stalling just before the red zone, the Lions could’ve taken the points with a field goal and potentially knotted up this instant classic at 27 points apiece. It likely would’ve been a very different finish.

Instead, Dan Campbell elected to go for it on fourth and 3. When the Lions couldn’t convert, their defeat seemed all but assured. The analytical recommendation appeared to indicate this was a smart decision, but it sure didn’t feel like it:

The Lions only got to their first NFC title game in nearly 30 years, expressly because of Dan Campbell’s aggressive mentality. The Lions play like they wear their heart on their sleeve, and it’s all because of their head coach, who doesn’t shy away from big moments — even with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. From this perspective, it’s hard to fault Campbell much for doing what he’s done all season.

Still, a field goal felt like the more prudent decision in this situation, especially after blowing a 17-point lead. Campbell got a little too much dip on his chip. And now, the Lions are going back home to Detroit instead of making the trek to Las Vegas.

NFL fans crushed Dan Campbell for not taking the field goal


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