Lions’ Dan Campbell: ‘I Don’t Regret’ 4th-Down Decisions in NFL Playoff Loss to 49ers
Doric SamJanuary 29, 2024

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 28: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks down prior to the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

After going for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal twice during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is standing by his decisions regardless of the results.

“I don’t regret those decisions,” Campbell told reporters. “And it’s hard, it’s hard because we didn’t come through and it wasn’t able to work out. But I don’t. I don’t.”


“I just felt really good about us converting.” – Dan Campbell on aggressive 4th down calls

The Lions held a 17-point lead at halftime before falling apart in the second half as the 49ers stormed back to earn a 34-31 win. Campbell had two instances where he aggressively tried to extend a possession instead of taking the points.

Detroit was leading 24-10 in the third quarter and had the opportunity to make it a three-score game with a field goal. Instead, Campbell went for it, and Josh Reynolds dropped a pass from Jared Goff that would’ve converted the first down.

After falling behind in the fourth quarter, a field goal would’ve tied the game at 27, but Campbell once again went for it on fourth down. Goff’s pass sailed incomplete and allowed the 49ers to seal the game with a touchdown.

Campbell said he’s not surprised by the masses who questioned his decision-making after the Lions fell short of making it to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.

“I understand the scrutiny I’ll get, that’s part of the gig, man,” he said. “But, it just didn’t work out.”

The Lions have a bright future under Campbell, but Sunday’s loss will haunt the team for quite some time. Detroit can only hope that Campbell will learn from his mistakes as the team tries to stay in title contention next season and beyond.

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