Dan Campbell takes place among top Lions coaches with historic playoff win

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has taken his place amongst the elites in franchise history with a postseason win that perfectly encapsulated his long-standing vision for the team.
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The Detroit Lions flushed decades of ugly history with a 24-23 playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round Sunday night. Dan Campbell was a driving force behind the win.

Campbell came to Detroit with grand promises of "kneecap biting", a metaphor for the toughness he hoped to establish. Few thought he'd be able to create a team capable of manifesting those hopes on the field.

Sunday night, everything came together for the Lions and Campbell. The close win was the personification of everything Campbell talked about building. The Lions overwhelmed the Rams early with their skill and toughness. In spite of issues defensively, their grit carried them in the second half. All along the way, they refused to flinch. Just as Campbell has promised.

There may not be much to choose from in terms of successful Lions' coaches, but Campbell has put himself in the conversation with the best. Already, Campbell has accomplished as much as Wayne Fontes. While he isn't in the stratosphere of Buddy Parker, who went 47-23-2 with a pair of NFL championships, or the 53-43-5 George Wilson who won a title in 1957, given time, he's proving he can get there.

For now, Campbell has flipped a culture and has cemented the Lions as strong contenders in the present and into the future. Considering where the franchise has been, that is a monumental feat in itself.

Jared Goff appreciates Detroit Lions' journey to postseason victory

As Campbell said, the Lions were "perfectly scarred" for opportunity in the postseason, meaning he felt they were primed for success given the adversity they had already faced.

Goff was the driving force behind that against the Rams, crafting his own special moment by leading the Lions to the win. The crowd showered him with love before and after the game, and he was happy to deliver the victory, especially considering what the fans have endured.

"It's a special place to play and I've only been here for thee years, but to see us come from where we were to where we are now and the fans (to) endure some of that, it's special to be able to get this win for them and for this group in our locker room."

Everything started with the leadership of Campbell, who knew what he wanted the Lions to be from the start. That vision is now paying special dividends.


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