Heading into the season rematch this weekend, Lions head coach Dan Campbell has had a hard time letting go of the Week 3 loss to the Vikings.
Last month, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell openly said he felt like the team should have at least two more wins and took personal accountability for that. One of those missed opportunities for a win was surely Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Campbell shifted away from the fourth down aggressiveness he had shown all game by attempting a long field goal very late. From an analytical/win probability angle, even a made field goal was not the best option.
Austin Seibert missed the 54-yarder, and a game the Lions led 14-0 early and 24-14 with less than 10 minutes to go slipped all the way away.
The Lions are in a pretty good place right now, with four wins in their last five games and on the fringe of playof contention. Sunday brings a rematch with the now 10-2 Vikings, so the loss early in the season is an easy topic in Allen Park this week–lessons learned, regrets, etc.
Dan Campbell can’t quite totally forget Week 3 loss to the Vikings
Via Ben Raven of MLive, Campbell spoke to the media on Wednesday and was frank about the early season loss to Minnesota.
"Look, it burns,”“Of course it burns me. I mean, that’ll be there until the day I die.But I also know I can’t wallow in that, and let that pull me down. I mean it is what it is, and it happened for a reason. Honestly, I think us losing five in a row is why we’re where we’re at right now. So that’s kind of how I look at it. Maybe we needed this to happen to get to where we’re at right now at this point.”"
On an existential level, coaches tend to remember rough losses more than big wins. Campbell learned a valuable lesson he’ll carry forward early in his second year as Lions head coach during that Week 3 loss to the Vikings. But it’s a game he clearly won’t soon forget about.