Lions Coach Dan Campbell Roasted For Controversial NFC Title Game Decision

By Jason Hall

January 29, 2024

NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
Photo: Getty Images

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was roasted for a controversial decision late in his team's NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (January 28).

Campbell, 47, who is known for his aggressive play-calling style, opted to go for it on fourth down, rather than kick a field goal that would've tied the game at 27 midway through the fourth quarter. The Lions failed to convert and the Niners answered with a seven-play, 70-yard, touchdown drive to move ahead 34-24 in an eventual 34-31 victory.

Several fans criticized Campbell's decision on social media with a field goal ultimately being the margin of defeat for Detroit.

"The 49ers won by 3 points Imagine if Dan Campbell kicked the field goals…," social media content creator Cameron Magruder wrote on his X account.

"Dan Campbell drawing an 18 in blackjack: 'hit me,' comedian Sam Morrill wrote.

"Gotta respect Dan Campbell for single handedly eliminating his own team from the playoffs," X user @ChampagneAnyone wrote.

Campbell said he didn't regret his decision while addressing reporters during his postgame press conference Sunday night.

“I just felt really good about us converting and getting our momentum and not letting them play longball,” the Lions coach said. “They were bleeding the clock out, that’s what they do, and I wanted to get the upper hand back. It’s easy hindsight and I get it. I get that, but I don’t regret those decisions and that’s hard. Because we didn’t come through and it wasn’t able to work out. 

“I understand the scrutiny I’ll get. That’s part of the gig, but it just didn’t work out.” 

Campbell has led the Lions to a franchise-alerting resurgence during his three season in Detroit. The former NFL tight end inherited a team that went 3-13 during his first season and improved to 9-8 in 2022 and 12-5 in 2023, making its first NFC Championship Game appearance in history on Sunday.

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