Clinching a division title on the road is never easy, but that's what the Detroit Lions had to do in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings and in the end they got it done.
The franchise's first division title since 1993 (in case you've been living under a rock) is clinched with two weeks to go. Head coach Dan Campbell made it clear how he feels about the idea of resting players for the playoffs when asked about it last week.
"Yeah, when we’re done with the season, they’re going to rest. I promise you that,” Campbell said. They’re going to get plenty of time off.”
The Lions also won their first game in Minnesota since 2017 on Sunday, For Campbell, ending that streak had to be especially fitting.
Clinching division with road win over Vikings had to be particularly sweet for Dan Campbell
In his first season as Lions' head coach, after a tough road loss to the Vikings to drop to 0-5, here is a visibly emotional Campbell after the game (his presser starts at the 5:22 mark in the video below).
On the idea of getting his first win as Lions' head coach and coming agonizingly close...
"You want it for yourself as an organization and for all of us,” Campbell said. “But you want it for the players. They’re out there busting their a*s. It’s tough." “When you see your players give all that they have and you lose that way it’s tough. You don’t want that for them.”
After Sunday's win over the Vikings, here was Campbell in the postgame locker room.
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News noted the difference two years has made for Campbell and the Lions after a game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Lions would go a little while longer before getting Campbell's first win as their head coach in 2021, coincidentally or not over the Vikings at home. They've now set a franchise record with 20 wins over a two-season span. As full circle moments go, clinching the division on the road at Minnesota is about as good as it'll ever get for Campbell and his team.