FOUR DOWNS: Campbell: 'I just wanted to finish with the ball in our hands'

by 24USATVNov. 13, 2023, 5 a.m. 27

Sunday was one of those games where the last team to have the football was probably going to win – and Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell knew it.

With one minute and 47 seconds left on the clock and the Lions facing a 4th and 2 at the Los Angeles 26-yard line, instead of kicking the go-ahead field goal and taking the lead with under two minutes left, Campbell put the game in the hands of quarterback Jared Goff and the offense.

"Going into that situation there's going to be a lot of time left," Campbell said after the game. "I just wanted to finish with the ball in our hands. I liked where we were offensively. We were playing good, and Goff was in a good spot. I felt like that was the right thing to do.

"Some say it's a boneheaded move and some say it's not and I made the decision. And I stick by that decision."

Goff found rookie tight end Sam LaPorta over the middle for a six-yard gain and a first down at the Chargers' 20-yard line. The conversion allowed the Lions to milk the rest of the clock and end the game on a Riley Patterson 41-yard field goal.

Los Angeles had scored on five straight possessions leading up to that point and Campbell trusted his offense to get the first down and end it with the ball in their possession.

"I mean, I don't know how many coaches are going to go for that in that situation," Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown said after the game. "Hats off to him."


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