As the clock in the Detroit Lions’ tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks winded down on Sunday afternoon, the game had already been decided. The Seahawks were holding a 51-29 lead, they had the ball in Lions territory, and Detroit was fresh out of timeouts with just over four minutes remaining. The game was signed, sealed, and delivered.
But out of the two-minute warning, facing a second-and-9, the Seahawks ran a bit of a trick play, running an end-around that picked up 30 yards and nearly added a touchdown to the already lopsided score.
Some may view that kind of play as disrespectful seeing as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll could have just as easily run out most of the remaining clock by calling a couple of kneel-downs. However, Lions head coach Dan Campbell is not amongst those upset with how Carroll played it down the stretch. He told the media on Monday that if you don’t like the way your opponent is playing, it’s on you to stop them.
“There are 60 minutes on that game clock, so if you’ve got a problem, then why don’t you stop it?” Campbell said. “Otherwise, they’ll just keep piling it on. So, no, I don’t have any problem with that.”
And to the Seahawks’ credit, they ultimately didn’t run up the score. That end-around set up the Seahawks at the 1-yard line with 1:50 left. Instead of punching it in from there, Russell Wilson kneeled twice to end the game. But even if Seattle had run the ball in, Campbell would not have been offended.
“To be honest with you, if they would have ran it in at the end, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that either. It’s up to us to stop them,” Campbell said.
Campbell is absolutely right, of course. There are many coaches—Campbell very much included—that believe every minute out there on the field is valuable time, regardless of the score. Every situation can be a learning experience for players and coaches, and so if any team wants to make the most of it, they should. And if the other team has a problem with it, the solution, as Campbell said, is simple: Stop them.
Campbell, himself, has shown that despite the score, his team is going to fight for all 60 minutes. Heck, late in that game in Seattle, Campbell was calling timeouts to preserve time for his offense despite the game being out of hand, so it should come as no surprise that he’s fine with Seattle—and all of their starters—playing until the final whistle.