Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson defends late-game play-calling decisions vs. Seahawks

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson talked about some of of the "interesting" play-calling that took place toward the end of Sunday's loss to the Seahawks.

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson defends late-game play-calling decisions vs. Seahawks

Following Sunday's overtime loss against the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson found himself in the spotlight, defending the team's late-game play-calling decisions. As the clock ticked down, the Lions opted for a cautious approach that left some fans puzzled.

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson 2023 Detroit Lions Jared Goff Amon-Ra St. Brown Detroit Lions' starting offense Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson

What did Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson Say?

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was at the center of attention as he defended the team's approach on their final offensive possession against the Seattle Seahawks. In a critical moment, Detroit decided to let the play clock run, refraining from taking any shots in the end zone. In fact, anyone who watched the game walked away believing the Lions were playing for a tie, rather than playing for the win.

“Yeah, I mean, we talk about these situations. This is year three now with coach Campbell as head coach,” Johnson said. “I think he and I are very much aligned in how we see the game. Going into that drive, we knew at a minimum we had to get into field goal range. So that was first and foremost, and obviously, an offense like ours that we feel really strongly about, we want shots in the end zone to win the game. We want that on us. We had opportunities within the plays that were called to get the ball a little bit closer, and I think the shots into the end zone would have come from there. I know we didn't push it into the end zone, but I was very happy with Jared, what his decision-making was, and we came really close to executing a touchdown.”

“In that particular instance, I don't think time was an issue,” Johnson explained. “We had plenty of time with two timeouts, and we were just making sure we handled it really well. That we were at a manageable field goal, at a minimum, with no time left and had an opportunity to get it into striking range.”

Dan Campbell explains why he went conservative

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Strategic Decision-Making: Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator Ben Johnson defended the team's late-game play-calling strategy against the Seattle Seahawks. The approach focused on securing a field goal range while maintaining the opportunity for a game-winning touchdown.
  2. Alignment with Head Coach: Johnson emphasized the alignment between himself and Head Coach Dan Campbell in their approach to late-game situations.
  3. The Complexity of NFL Strategy: Split-second decisions and calculated risk management are vital in determining the outcome of football games.

Bottom Line: Was it the Correct Decision?

Rather than playing for a regulation win, Dan Campbell decided that he would make sure to secure a field goal, and then take his chances, which he said he liked, in overtime. As we know, the Seahawks won the coin toss and they proceeded to go directly down the field and scored the game-winning touchdown. Do you think Campbell played this correctly?