Campbell wanted to drag Bills into overtime: "We could beat them"


The Lions had a chance to beat the Bills in regulation last week, and they went for it -- Jared Goff went for it -- with a deep shot on third and 1 with 30 seconds to play. Goff had multiple options on the play, including Amon-Ra St. Brown open over the middle, but went deep to DJ Chark. When they failed to connect, Dan Campbell had a big decision to make on fourth down, where the Lions had gone three-for-three on the day: take the points or go for it?

Campbell opted to kick the field goal and tie the game, which allowed Josh Allen and the Bills to win it four plays later.

"At that moment, we had connected on a lot of fourth downs, but I felt like we'd done everything we could and scratched and clawed to get ourselves in that position and it was time to take the three," Campbell said Tuesday on the Stoney & Jansen Show. "Because I did feel like if we could get them into overtime, we could beat them."

Allen and Stefon Diggs quickly made them pay with a 36-yard completion that set up Buffalo's game-winning field goal with two seconds to go.

Campbell faced another key moment at the end of the first half when the Lions had the ball at the Bills' two-yard line with 2:08 to play, trailing by seven. Rather than trying to burn clock to keep Buffalo's offense at bay, Campbell ran two plays before the two-minute warning before the Lions punched it in the end zone -- on fourth down -- with 1:52 to play. The Bills responded by driving for a field goal and a 17-14 halftime lead.

"The whole thought process was, let’s score as fast as we can here above the two-minute, because they had plenty of timeouts to do whatever they needed to do to go down (the field) if they were going to score," Campbell said. "They really had control of the game at that point. So to us, it was like, if we score now and get a stop, we’ll get this ball back and be able to add some more points to it. We were trying to gain another possession, before halftime, against that opponent."

Their plan went awry when it took them four plays to score, but it didn't affect Buffalo's next drive. To Campbell's point, the Bills were in field goal range with 30 seconds to go and hadn't even used one of their two timeouts. They got the field goal they were going to get either way.

"So, yeah, hindsight, we should have (burned more clock), but I didn’t have a crystal ball," said Campbell. "But that was philosophy, let’s see if we can score twice before halftime."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Rey Del Rio / Stringer