The Detroit Lions are about to put a close on one of the most successful Novembers in recent history. The Lions went 3-1 throughout the month and were five minutes away from their first 4-0 November in 60 years.
It’s a drastic turnaround from when we last polled our audience on their opinions of coach Dan Campbell. Back then, the Lions were 1-3, but a semi-optimistic 1-3. Their offense was on fire, and had they simply closed out better against the Vikings, they’d be 2-2 and right there in the mix for the NFC North. Things would get worse, though, as Detroit would lose the next three games.
But back to today, Campbell has undoubtedly been a big part of their turnaround. For one, he made another bold midseason coaching change. Whereas last year he simply demoted offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, this year, he made the tough decision to fire defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. It’s hard to know if that was the right long-term move right now—he was a well-liked coach that Campbell himself admitted should probably be a head coach one day. But it’s also clear the defense—specifically the secondary—has improved since that decision.
Additionally, Campbell deserves credit for keeping the culture and spirits high now in back-to-back season in which the team had a slow start. Players are now starting to truly believe in the upward trajectory of the franchise—even veteran players like Taylor Decker, who has lived through short, optimistic runs before.
“That’s a team regarded as one of the best in the NFL,” left tackle Taylor Decker said after Sunday’s loss to the 8-3 Buffalo Bills. “And truthfully, I didn’t feel we were outmatched at all. It hurts even more because we were right there. This isn’t the fucking same old Lions anymore. We’re gonna go out there and get our respect.”
But Campbell has also had his fair share of criticism thrown his way. For one, it’s hard to completely overlook that this team had yet another horrible start to the season. Last year, it was 0-10-1. This year, it was 1-6. If this team wants to compete in the future, they can’t continue to dig themselves into such a huge hole at the start of the season before they get their bearings.
Additionally, Campbell’s game management has come under fire lately. There have been some consistently questionable uses of his timeouts at the end of halves, and some believe Campbell loses his composure at the end of games and makes decisions with his heart over his head. The Vikings and Bills game certainly highlighted some of those concerns with Campbell.
Before you get a chance to vote on whether you approve of the job Campbell is doing, here’s a look at his ratings throughout his first 28 games as Lions head coach.
January 2021: 78 percent approval
July 2021: 97 percent approval
October 2021: 95 percent approval
November 2021: 88 percent approval
December 2021: 98 percent approval
January 2022: 98 percent approval
September 2022: 98 percent approval
October 2022: 80 percent approval
Now it’s time to vote in the poll below and share your reasoning in the comment section below.
Do you approve of the job Dan Campbell is doing as Lions head coach?
This poll is closed