ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell made some aggressive and conservative decisions in a 37-31 overtime loss to Seattle on Sunday.
“I knew I wanted to play that game a certain way early, but also knew if it doesn’t quite work out that way we go the long road and win it at the end and we weren’t able to do that,’’ Campbell said on Monday.
The usually gutsy coach went for it on fourth-and-4 instead of attempting a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter and Jared Goff threw an incomplete pass; went for it on fourth-and-3 and eventually scored a touchdown on the drive in third quarter; went for it on fourth-and-2 instead of a punt, helping Seattle have better field position to set up a touchdown at the end of the third quarter. Then on fourth-and-3 at the Seattle 20, he went for the game-tying field goal with 3 seconds left because he said it was too much of a risk to go for it.
Campbell liked their chances in overtime, but never got the ball after Seattle won the toss.
There was little sense of urgency when the Lions got the ball at midfield down three points with 1:44 left.
“They had two timeouts and I did not want to give that ball back, that was No. 1, do not give this ball back. No. 2, can we get down there far enough to score a touchdown?’’ Campbell said.
He said he never thought they were crunched against the clock because they had timeouts. On that final drive Goff never took a shot downfield.
“I thought because of where they wound up getting the football, if we could hold them to that field goal it would be a phenomenal stop and the defense totally came through,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
Wide receiver Josh Reynolds has given the passing game a boost after stepping up again with five catches for 66 yards, including two touchdowns.
“I trust him a hell of a lot. I trust him. He’s got great hands. He’s been playing at a high level. He started to catch himself in a little bit of a rhythm now, which is good, and get himself open,’’ Goff said.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The pass rush was ineffective against Seattle’s Geno Smith whose offensive line was missing the starting tackles. The only sack came late in the game when linebacker Alex Anzalone dropped Smith for a 17-yard loss.
The transition from run to pass must happen quicker.
“Our urgency has to go up and our violence has to go up to shed those blockers. That will go a long way,’’ Campbell said.
Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta followed a solid debut against the Chiefs with five catches for 63 yards including two third-down conversions — for 12 and 23 yards — during a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. LaPorta also made a key block on David Montgomery’s TD run.
“In critical moments he’s highly competitive,’’ Campbell said.
CB Jerry Jacobs, in his second start, struggled lining up against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He was called for pass interference in the end zone on the first possession.
LB James Houston (broken fibula) will be out for a while, per Campbell. More will be known about RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) in next few days. RB David Montgomery (thigh bruise) is day to day.
383 — The number of passes Jared Goff has thrown without an interception after starting the game with the streak at 359. Seattle CB Tre Brown intercepted a pass intended for Jahmyr Gibbs and returned it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Host the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 24.
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