It was a familiar feeling for Detroit Lions fans in Week 3 as they watched their favorite team fall just short of a pivotal divisional win. A missed field goal attempt in the fourth quarter preceded a game-winning drive by the Minnesota Vikings.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell is taking on the blame for the rough finish.
Detroit Lions News
With 1:14 to go before the final whistle, Detroit faced a fourth-and-4 in Minnesota territory and opted to attempt a 54-yard kick to increase their lead from three to six points. Austin Seibert missed it wide right, however, and the Vikings needed just three plays to grab the lead for good with a touchdown.
Campbell has always been an aggressive coach, so it was surprising to see him dial the intensity back this time around. A first down at that point in the game would've given Detroit an opportunity to run out the clock and earn a victory. He was quick to express his regret in his postgame comments.
“I should have gone for it on fourth down and I told the team that. I should have gone for it.”- Dan Campbell on his lat game decision
This is a Lions squad that set an NFL record with 40 fourth-down attempts in 2021 and went 4-for-6 in fourth-down tries earlier in the game against the Vikings before Campbell's decision to kick. His choice was even more confusing because he had already passed up five long field goals following Seibert's 48-yard miss in the opening quarter.
Those four fourth-down conversions kept Detroit in the game as they led to a pair of touchdowns and a short field goal. Quarterback Jared Goff said he wishes he'd asked Campbell to stay on the field because he knows Campbell would have relented. There were regrets all around.
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