Dan Campbell 'hated' his big decision in Lions' loss: "I cost our team"


Dan Campbell was daring on Sunday, until he wasn't.

After trusting his offense to convert numerous fourth downs against the Vikings in a game the Lions controlled from almost start to finish, Campbell opted for a field goal on Detroit's final drive when a first down would have sealed the game -- and watched it blow up in his face when Austin Seibert missed from 54 yards and the Vikings scored a touchdown three plays later to steal a 28-24 win.

"For me, I freaking regret my decision there at the end. I should have gone for it there on fourth down," Campbell said. "I told the team that, I should have gone for it."

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The Lions were facing fourth and 4 from Minnesota's 36-yard line with 1:14 remaining and the Vikings out of timeouts. Campbell said that in the moment, he wanted to kick a field goal to take a six-point lead "and force them to score a touchdown to win." Jared Goff said he wishes he had approached Campbell and "demanded to stay on the field, and I guarantee he would have let us."

In hindsight, Campbell said he should have "put it back in (our) hands offensively."

"I regret that decision 100 percent, I really do. I hate it. And I do feel like I cost our team," Campbell said. "I really do, man."

Goff said "we all have our regrets in some way shape or form" and pointed to the offense not closing out the game when it had the ball.

"We had two chances as an offense to finish that game. We had a chance on the (prior) drive, a fourth and 1 we didn’t convert, and then we had a chance following that to get a few first downs and the game’s over. Just gave them too many chances," he said.

After Kirk Cousins and the Vikings took over at their own 44 -- the extra eight yards courtesy of Detroit's field goal snap -- they ripped through the Lions defense with a pair of 28-yard passes to K.J. Osborn to take their first lead of the game with 45 seconds to go.

The touchdown reception came directly after Campbell had used his final timeout to give his defense a breather and try to generate pressure on Cousins. Another backfire when the Lions offense had no timeouts to work with when it came back on the field.

"I was trying to get some rush," Campbell said. "I was wanting to get our guys get there lungs back a little bit. Yeah, it’s frustrating."

The Lions led 14-0 in the second quarter and 24-14 in the fourth, but couldn't make the key plays -- or calls -- to put the game out of reach.

"We keep saying, we’re close, we’re close. No, I think we’re there," said Goff. "We’re there. We just have to get a first down here, execute on one more play here. Me, throw one more better ball and it’s over. That game should have been over long before they were able to get back in it, and I’m sure they know that. But we let them back in it and that’s our fault."

"We had our chances," said Campbell, who told his team that the loss "should sting."

"It shouldn’t taste good, because we had that. I just told them that we gotta learn from it, man. We gotta learn from the plays that bit us in the ass," said Campbell. "There will be a lot of criticism placed on a number of guys, myself included."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Rey Del Rio / Stringer