I believe in Dan Campbell.
Even after he made the egregious decision to put the game on the leg of Austin Seibert from 54 yards—when the Minnesota Vikings were out of timeouts and down three points with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s divisional matchup—I still believe in Dan Campbell.
In the aftermath of such a devastating loss—one that many are boiling down to a single, late-game decision Campbell immediately regretted—it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. The Lions opened as 7.5-point underdogs, led the Vikings by 10 points in the fourth quarter, and had plenty of chances to put this game away. In the end, the Lions depth, youth, and inexperience cost them the football game; this was bound to happen at some point this season, so maybe it’s best it happened in September when everyone involved can learn and grow from this loss.
At least that’s what I want to believe.
Detroit Lions Week 3 Song of the Game: “Bound for the Floor” by Local H
Born to be down
I think that I’ve said this before now
In no way is Dan Campbell responsible for the sins of coaches who came before him. He isn’t the one who decided to take the wind in November of 2002. He didn’t lead the team to the first 16-game winless season in league history. He hasn’t allowed his ego to run players, very talented football players, out of town. But for years, decades, Lions fans have been subjected to a wide-ranging array of coaching gaffes, both big and small—and some more unique than others.
When I was frustrated after the Lions loss to the Vikings on Sunday, I voiced it on Twitter like any well-adjusted person. I didn’t lash out or condemn the coaching staff beyond redemption for Campbell’s decision to opt for a 54-yard field goal, but I did have a moment of “this is just another story of a game that got away” and it just so happened to feel like a loss put into motion by Campbell’s sudden turn of heart.
The difference is that I still believe in Dan Campbell and this coaching staff. This isn’t even close to being the straw that broke the camel’s back—like when Jim Caldwell sealed his fate by not believing in his offense with the season on the line. Campbell and Holmes have one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year as they work through their second season of a full
rebuild retool and this team has already shown vast improvement from a year ago.
Born to be down
What good is confidence?
Campbell regrets his decision and he owed up to it, that much he owed fans in the immediate aftermath of the Lions loss. What I’m confident in is Campbell proving he’s going to make the right decision next time. What good is all that confidence you have in your offense through three-and-a-half quarters—the clear strength of this football team—if you’re going to just take the football out of their hands when the game’s on the line? Campbell learned the answer to that question in Week 3, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt to prove he’ll get it right next time.
You can find the 2022 playlist here (or below):