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Notes: Dan Campbell credits mental strength in Lions win

Grit don’t quit.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

While fans were pulling their hair out in the final moments of the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears game Sunday afternoon, Dan Campbell and his squad kept their cool.

Trailing 26-21 with just two-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter...

“Pressure went up, our heart rate leveled out,” he described it.

Not exactly what you’d expect in such a high-pressure situation, but the Lions remained cool, calm, and collected as they efficiently marched down the field. David Montgomery found the end zone, then throw in a two point conversion and suddenly Detroit was up 29-26. Bears get the ball back and the defense didn’t just hold on to the lead, Aidan Hutchinson got the strip sack for a safety, clinching the game. Lions win, 31-26.

Campbell said he could not be more proud of his team, especially quarterback Jared Goff, who despite the rough showing against the now 3-8 Bears, was as even-keeled as they come in those final minutes.

“He never got frazzled, and honestly I don’t know if I’ve ever really seen him frazzled,” he said, adding that despite the three interceptions, Goff showed up for the team in the biggest moments.

While he’ll easily take credit for his mistakes, Goff won’t ever take sole credit for a win.

“It’s the sign of a good team. We’re a resilient group. We’re tough. We have a lot of courage, and we don’t back down from anything,” he said.

Of course it wasn’t just on the offense’s shoulders to save the day in those 11th-hour moments Sunday. As mentioned above, the Lions are up 31-26 but need one last defensive stand to seal the Bears’ fate. The average coach might be stressed in these moments, maybe angry they’re even in such a precarious situation against a 3-7 team — perhaps telling the defense not to screw things up. But Campbell is not your average coach.

“I actually went down there and said, ‘It just doesn’t get any better than this. This is what you want to be in right now. Game on the line, you’ve got a chance to make the big stop and to win this game.’ And (Hutchinson) goes out there and makes the sack fumble of his life for a safety. Those are the moments we’re built for,” he said.

Rather than “get it together, don’t fail,” Campbell reminded his players exactly what makes this team special and why they love this game so much. A perfect example of why they’re the Brand New Lions.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Our own little sights and sounds from Ford Field:

  • “On a day when Detroit turned the ball over four times and rarely looked in sync, it was the type of gritty, turn-a-loss-into-a-win game that championship clubs need once or twice a year.” The Around the NFL staff shares what they learned from Sunday’s games.

  • Chicago’s now 6-22 under Matt Eberflus in less than two full years. First ex-Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels — are the Lions about to get another coach fired?

  • Rookie Brian Branch had himself a day.

  • Continuing with their Salute to Service efforts, the Lions thanked retired U.S. Marine Sgt. Nick Ludke for his service at the game Sunday.

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