Lions coach Dan Campbell loses tactical battles with bad decisions

Sunday 29-0 closing loss To the New England Patriots represented an epic failure on so many levels for the Lions of Detroit. But there is one common denominator for all of these levels.


His Patriot counterparts have outdone Dan Campbell woefully. In and of itself, there’s no shame in Bill Belichick that excels at coaching. He’s in an argument for the best coach in the NFL ever. However, Campbell’s crew made it too easy for Belichick and the Patriots on this one.

If Belichick was playing chess, Campbell would break his Hungry Hippos game by hitting the handles way too hard and always at the wrong time to catch those pesky sandballs.

Every fourth down failure, all six of them, was a simultaneous major row of Belichick and Campbell licking the frozen pole on the field. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Maybe after the third or fourth fiasco, he stopped trying the same darn thing. This lesson is one that Campbell has yet to learn or embrace.

However, the match ended on the first of those six failed attempts. Campbell has been so aggressive that he hurt his team badly with a bad decision and worse running call.

the scene: Fourth and 1st of the Detroit line 45 yards. Black brings an extra line as a buffer and alignment in a tight formation. It’s a clear internal race to Jamal Williams based on formation, down/distance and mileage. The New Englander converts to a 9-man box and easily blows through the Lions line for a stopover. Right keeper Logan Stenberg, who mysteriously returned to the starting lineup after being on the bench for two weeks due to incompetent play, chose the wrong side of the gap to block.

It is the first engine of the game. New England Novice QB makes his first start in the NFL. Rather than relying on Pro Bowl gambler Jack Fox to get the Patriots stuck deep in the shadow of their goalposts, Campbell chooses to pitch them in the Lions’ territory. This is a completely unnecessary risk at this point in the game. Zappe leads the Patriots to a field goal to build confidence when the Lions defense holds up well in third in the red zone.

Now look at it from a Patriot’s point of view. It is clear that they were fed by the failure of the lions:

These are the kind of tactical mistakes Campbell can’t keep making. Needs to calculate the probability of failure. There is a line between aggressive ambition and recklessness. This line appears invisible to Campbell five weeks after 2022.

Perhaps past success of being overly aggressive in some fourth touchdowns encouraged Campbell. At least it clouded his judgment in the game. The defenses have determined what will happen. Campbell, attack coordinator Ben Johnson and QB Jared Goff collectively failed to adapt.

I wrote about it Another example in takeawayAnd the

In the middle of the third quarter, the 4th and 2nd of the Patriots line 34 yards. Jared Goff rushes to a surprise count to try and catch the Patriots with flat feet. But the Patriots expertly stabbed Goff here. Knowing Gauff would be looking for Amon ra St. Brown, they pretended to have little coverage outside of No. 14. But the Patriots soon gave up on the outside option and two defenders closed in on St. Brown before he caught the ball – a no-yard road that required a post-run success .

Everyone knows Geoff will switch to the easiest and shortest path out there. Campbell and Johnson You have To know that too, but they don’t show any ability to counter the other team’s tweaks.

When Campbell stands on the podium after the game and declares, “That’s 100 percent on me,” he’s 100 percent right. That doesn’t make it acceptable though.

Campbell refused even a field goal attempt, achievable goals based on the history of new kicker Michael Badgley. There were opportunities to put points on the board early on, to cut the lead and maybe build a bit of momentum. Campbell seems very fond of trying to make up for a 13-point deficit in a single game. This is constantly happening and must stop.

Farewell Week is the perfect opportunity for Campbell to explore oneself. It should be a mass and thorough examination by the assistants and the front office as well. It is too early to call the chiefs; The level of collective talent is not good enough to justify a change for the sake of change on the technical staff.

However, this is when Campbell and his coaching staff need to collectively show real improvement by saying goodbye to prove that matches can be long-term, so many Lions fans, players and management want them. For now, Campbell himself hasn’t helped prove this.

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