Say what you want about Dan Campbell but you cannot say he has not been aggressive as hell during his first year as head coach of the Detroit Lions. In fact, during Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Lions tied an NFL record for 4th down attempts in a season.
All of that being said, Campbell flipped the script by getting conservative late in the game against the Falcons.
With the Lions trailing the Falcons 20-13 and less than three minutes remaining in the game, Campbell elected to kick a very short field goal on fourth-and-5 from the Falcons 8 yard line.
Following the game, Campbell explained why he got conservative.
From Detroit Free Press:
“It was just that I know I had three timeouts and I had a feeling that (Falcons coach Arthur Smith) was going to be conservative, and we were going to be able to stop the run and get the ball back,” Campbell said. “I felt very good about getting the ball back knowing that we would have plenty of time to go down and score.”
Campbell’s decision nearly worked perfectly as the Lions proceeded to force a turnover and they had a chance to win the game.
“We were going to go down and score,” he said. “But now at that point, you got to make sure you’re burning everything off the clock that you can. They still had timeouts. But I mean, it was set up, it was set up perfectly for us. Once again, Reeves freaking comes up with a big one. Like he’s done all year.”