Dan Campbell was still one of NFL’s most aggressive coaches in 2022
He did dial it back to some degree, but Lions head coach Dan Campbell was still one of the most aggressive coaches in the NFL during the 2022 season.
During his first season as Detroit Lions head coach, as his team was a the last team to get a win and finished 3-13-1, Dan Campbell took a “damn the torpedoes” approach and went for it on fourth down a single-season NFL record 41 times. And yes, the 17th game helped (2-for-3 on fourth down in Week 18 to clear the old record by two).
With closer games and a few double-digit wins, the Lions only went for it on fourth down 37 times during the 2022 season, with a 54.1 percent success rate (20 successful).
Football Outsiders’ Aggressiveness Index goes beyond purely (or merely?) who goes for it on fourth down the most.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni led the Aggressive Index for the 2022 season. How that changes next season, if the league makes pushing players from behind illegal, will be interesting to see.
Dan Campbell still one of most aggressive head coaches in the NFL
Following Sirianni and rounding out the top-5 in the Aggressiveness Index ranking is Mike McDaniel, Arthur Smith, Kliff Kingsbury and Matt LaFleur. No. 6 is Campbell.
A closer look at the table shows Campbell was No. 1, narrowly over Sirianni, in rate of going for it on qualifying opportunities (28-for-102; 27.5 percent). Sirianni was at 26.7 percent (28-for-105). Campbell also had the highest number of expected “goes” based on Football Outsiders’ metrics, at 21.2 (let’s just say 21, and no other coach had 19 expected “goes).
Campbell’s aggressivenes was a little more honed during his second season as a head coach, as could be expected. His willingness to go for it can snowball badly if a game isn’t going the Lions’ way. But in the big picture it’s a declaration of the belief he has in his players, and they often reward him.