Lions coach Dan Campbell: No time to panic after loss to Vikings

Lions coach Dan Campbell

ALLEN PARK — Dan Campbell admits his mistakes, but on Monday said he has no reason to panic following the 28-24 loss at Minnesota on Sunday.

The Lions dropped to 1-2 and will face the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Ford Field on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Lions were up two scores with 8 minutes left and could not finish.

“Listen, I get the road that everybody’s been down. Listen I’m not sweating it, I’m not sweating it and this team is not sweating it. We’ve got a long season,’’ Campbell said on Monday. “You look throughout this league,it happens this way every year. I feel like what happens early in the season, it really molds who you are going to be as the season goes on and late in the season.

“Those that can endure the adversity of the season, the ups and downs, and just stay in the race are the ones that have success,’’ the coach added.

In his first season the Lions finished 3-13-1 and didn’t win their first game until Dec. 5. They haven’t won a road game under Campbell.

On fourth-and-4 at the Vikings 36-yard line late  in the game, Campbell called for a 54-yard field goal attempt rather than to try for the first down.

“Before that point we had some chances to close that game out offensively that we didn’t capitalize on,’’ Campbell said. “At the end of the day when you look at all three units, what was the unit that was going to give you the best chance to win that type of game and it was offense. I thought (Jared) Goff was throwing the ball well, we were protecting well. That’s the way we should’ve gone.’’

Still he said he had confidence that Austin Seibert could make that kick even though he had missed his first attempt on Sunday.

“I would be willing to give him another go. If I didn’t feel that way I wouldn’t have let him kick at the end of the game. I know he missed the first one, but he came back and made the second one,’’ Campbell said. “So I felt like he’d make this and it didn’t work out, but yeah. Now, full disclosure, he’s a little bit sore today so we’ll see what happens with him.’’

Center Frank Ragnow wasn’t clear on whether he was surprised they went for the field goal on that fourth down. 

“I try to just stay in my lane, just try to execute my job. You’d love to go for it, but hindsight is everything,’’ Ragnow said. “To be honest, us as players, us as an offensive line, at the end of the game we shouldn’t have been put in that position. We should have been way more clean up front, a lot better execution all around, me especially. We shouldn’t even put coach in that position. We should’ve closed the game out before that.’’

NOTES: Safety Tracy Walker tore his Achilles on Sunday and will be out for the rest of the season. Campbell called it a “significant loss” and said they haven’t decided on how to replace him. He’s inclined to keep Will Harris, a safety turned cornerback, at cornerback … Campbell also said D’Andre Swift’s shoulder injury could keep him out this week, but nothing for certain yet. The Lions have a bye after the Seattle game so sitting Swift could give him extra time for healing and rest.

(Up next: Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Lions (1-2) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, at Ford Field.)

Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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