clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is the criticism of Dan Campbell’s aggressiveness fair?

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz discusses the hotly-debated choices made by the Lions head coach in the NFC Championship Game.

At a time of great division in America, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz was amazed by a development over the weekend: We’re all pro-field goal all of a sudden.

Yes, Dan Campbell did Dan Campbell things on Sunday, being hyper-aggressive and going for it on fourth downs that could have otherwise yielded points in the form of field goals. And he is being CRUSHED for it after falling to the 49ers, 34-31, in the NFC Championship.

For what it’s worth, Campbell has no regrets.

Dan, however, is going the other way on all this field goal love today. He notes that Campbell played the way he has all season, all the while doing the things that Next Gen Stats say had the best probabilities. Dan points out that in plus territory, the Lions went for it on 4th-and-3 or shorter on 20 of 24 times and converted 17 of those 20. They’re good at that! Dan says Campbell wants you to be backpedaling when he’s on offense and you can’t control when Josh Reynolds is going to have a drop.

Stugotz, however, argues there’s a time and a place for everything and you have to go with the feel of the game. And at 24-10, Stugotz argues, you want to give your team a three-score lead. To not go for the field goal in that spot, to not go for the field goal later in the second half, that’s a terrible job by Dan Campbell, Stugotz says.

Dan thinks a lot of people are missing something here. First of all, they’re assuming that the field goals would be made. And just as interestingly, if Campbell kicks the field goal to tie the game late, under what circumstances after that second half did you think the Lions would be able to stop the 49ers? Dan notes that whatever adjustments were made at the half, the rest of the way Detroit couldn’t score and San Francisco couldn’t be stopped. Dan says the decision to run the ball on third down late and then had to use one of their timeouts was one of the biggest coaching mistakes of the entire game by Campbell.

Mike points out, however, that Campbell actually took the three points at the end of the first half, a fact you don’t get to gloss over if you’re making the argument that Campbell was right to eschew the points later on. So Campbell gave you both versions of what you could do, he did go by feel. Mike also says it wasn’t adjustments that turned that game around, it was luck. He points out that three consecutive drives from the Lions went:

  • Josh Reynolds drop
  • Jahmyr Gibbs fumble
  • Josh Reynolds drop

The Niners got lucky too, according to Mike. Not to mention Brandon Aiyuk’s insane circus catch.

And through it all, Campbell knows it’s not going to be easy getting back to this point next year or in the future.

Meanwhile, Dan and the crew took the opportunity on Monday in the aftermath of another Chiefs trip to the Super Bowl to relive the worst sports take ever ...

SHOW BREAKDOWN

Monday Hangover: Sink Plunger

  • If the season ended today we have a Super Bowl matchup! Billy has a Top 5 people he feels bad for! The guys share their Bayer Heart Racing Moments of the Week. Mike Fuentes learned that their are different plungers for toilets and sinks.

Local Hour: ...Going For It?

  • There’s only one thing we know for certain after this weekend’s slate of NFL games: America loves Field Goals. Dan, Stu, and the Shipping Container spend the Local Hour dissecting every angle of yesterday’s games between the Ravens and Chiefs and the 49ers and Lions. What was it that really cost the Lions the game? Should Dan Campbell have been more of a coward? Should Bill Belichick replace Tony Romo in the booth? Does Stugotz have TWO of the worst Chiefs takes of all-time? Was Zay Flowers more important to the Chiefs than Travis Kelce? Is Brock Purdy sneaky athletic? Did Taylor Swift care about being on TV? Why didn’t the Ravens run the ball? Do Bob Weir’s songs ramble?

The Big Suey: Mister Americana

  • The crew is beginning to worry that we’re doing 2020 all over again with the repeat Super Bowl matchup in another election year... Also, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce may be the best ever at each of their respective positions. Then, Brock Purdy is polarizing, but shouldn’t we all be rooting for him as the ideal of the American Dream? Plus, the Mina jinx, worrying about the weather in Vegas, and Dan’s trip to see a legacy Heavy Metal act in Dania Beach.

Hour 1: The last great American dynasty?

  • It’s time for Stugotz’s Weekend Observations! Then, our friendly neighborhood race lady Jemele Hill is here after her San Francisco 49ers beat her husband’s Detroit Lions. Jemele learns of how her husband *almost* betrayed her on the air, discusses Dan Campbell’s decision making, and explains why it’s okay that Brock Purdy isn’t “elite.” Plus, is the NBA starting to have a legitimate problem on its hands with players continuing to sit out marquee matchups? Is that even the reason why fans aren’t flocking to the sport on TV?

Hour 2: Nothing New

  • CONTENT WARNING: This segment contains mentions of sexual assault and sexual violence. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault, you are not alone. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. Hour 2 begins with a conversation on power, money, corruption, shamelessness, and toxic work environments as Dan and Mike discuss the heinous details of the Vince McMahon lawsuit and how this is nothing new in his decades-long abuse of power. Then, Tyreek Hill’s prepared divorce papers, Stugotz’s jealousy, and the Super Bowl media hotel. Plus, The Luxor’s beam to space, mummies and the sanctity of ancient artifacts, and Jessica’s picture with Terrell Suggs.

Postgame Show: Long Live (It Will Be Remembered)

  • Long live the Fast Twitch Energy Drink Player of the Week award. Kadarius Toney went to IG Live to complain about his injury designation, but didn’t it actually make him look better?

VIDEO:

Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on X at @LeBatardShow.


The Crown Is Yours: Sign up for DraftKings and experience the ultimate host for games and betting experiences!