What may have seemed like risky play-calling by Dan Campbell and the Lions, was actually weeks of special teams preparation. Campbell said he had confidence in his team after practicing certain plays for weeks at Allen Park, before attempting them against the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions lost 28-19, but led after one quarter and kept the game much closer than many anticipated.
“I think that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get a win within reason. We really felt good about those plays. Like, those were calculated," said Campbell. "We had a real good idea of the look that would be there and really all three of them. Now, there is still a risk to it – but I just bring this up again, offense, defense and special teams in particular, when you practice those things against the looks you feel really good about getting and those guys do it all week. I credit our players, man. They bought into it and they executed all week, which gave me faith and then they went out and did it in the game.”
Despite an impressive showing, the Lions still fall to 0-7 on the season. Next up before the bye week, is the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on Halloween. Campbell said a mean against the Eagles would mean everything and acknolwedges just how difficult wins are to come by in the NFL.
“That’s why we’re all doing this. Ultimately, it’s why you love it because it’s the – the same thing that makes this game so tough and hard is the same thing that just makes it unbelievably exciting and blissful, if you will, to get a win because they are so hard to come by and you have to earn them," said Campbell. "You really do. It would mean everything, look, particularly going into a bye, too. Any time it would be good, but I think just to – man, you end on a right note and we get those guys, get their bodies back a little bit and then you come back in, you almost feel like you’re starting over somewhat. Now, you’re continuing the progress you had, but now it’s a, ‘We’ve turned the corner here and now we’re ready to go. We got our first win under our belt.’”