Dan Campbell must fine tune his aggressiveness to help Lions win close games

Dan Campbell is a notably aggressive coach, but that approach did more harm than good in a close loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.

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Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is not afraid to be aggressive, going for in fourth downs, calling for fake punts, etc. Oftentimes, it gives his team an advantage. But there are times where it's a detriment, as Campbell crosses the line to lacking keen situational awareness.

The Lions went 1-3 on fourth down on Sunday against the Seahawks, converting on the way to a touchdown in the third quarter. Both misses stood out as costly on a day where the defense struggled in a 37-31 defeat.

Early on, the Lions faced 4th-and-4 on the Seattle 31. Instead of kicking the field goal and establishing a potential early 10-7 lead, Campbell took points off the board. The Lions came up empty after an incompletion.

Later, with the Lions clinging to a 21-17 lead, Campbell rolled the dice on a 4th-and-2 from their own 45. Another incomplete pass turned the ball back to Seattle, who scored and took a 24-21 lead. Momentum shifted.

Those decisions were a 10-point swing. The Lions could have used an extra three points before overtime. Giving Seattle a short field on a day when the defense surrendered 393 yards just wasn't wise.

Campbell must do better with feel in tight games. Not every situation requires the Lions go fir it on fourth down. Punter Jack Fox is one of the best in the league. Detroit also must build kicker Riley Patterson's confidence.

It's on Campbell to know special teams can be the difference just as much as fourth down aggression.

Dan Campbell blames costly turnovers in Detroit Lions' defeat

Afterward, Campbell identified Detroit's three turnovers as the biggest game-changers.

Speaking to the media after the game, Campbell blamed the Lions' misfortune on David Montgomery's fumble and the pick-six Jared Goff threw. As he said, those sudden change scenarios hurt.

"All in all, we played some pretty good defense. When you turn the ball over twice offensively where we did, that's tough. That bit us. We're not good enough to turn the ball over (and win). I know it was three, but it was really two criticals."

Though Detroit had three official turnovers, they may as well have had five. Taking points off the board, then giving Seattle a short field leading to a touchdown proved decisive in a close game.

Campbell will keep coaching with a devil-may-care attitude, and it will provide some memorable moments. Sunday's defeat proves he still must fine tune his aggression for the Lions to win tight games.

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