Last night, the Detroit Lions were so close to making their first Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
After a dominant first half that saw the Lions beating the San Francisco 49ers 24-7, the wheels seemingly fell off, as the 49ers completely dominated the second half to win by a score of 34-31 to advance to the Super Bowl.
It was tough to watch, as Lions head coach Dan Campbell chose to go for it on fourth down on multiple occasions where they were within field goal range, and judging by the final score, a couple of made field goals would have been good enough to win.
Nevertheless, Campbell and the Lions have prided themselves on being aggressive all season, and it’s paid off for them… until it didn’t. However, it’s still hard to look back on that game and think about “what could have been” for the Lions.
With that being said, one person may not be feeling it more than Dan Campbell himself, who was visibly hurting in the postgame press conference last night.
He told the reporters:
“Sometimes, you can only say so much you’ve gotta live it unfortunately, and you’ve gotta get your heart ripped out, which we did. And it’s a lesson learned, and look I told those guys, ‘this may have been our only shot.’ Do I think that? No. Do I believe that? No.
However I know how hard it is to get here. I’m well aware. And it’s going to be twice as hard to get back to this point next year. That’s the reality. And if we don’t have the same hunger and the same work, which is a whole ‘nother thing.
Once we get the offseason, then we’ve got no shot at getting back here. How much better we get or what we have, it’s irrelevant, it’s gonna be tough. Bet in our division it’s gonna be loaded back up, and you’re not hiding from anybody anymore.
Everybody’s gonna want a piece of ya, which is fine, you know? Which is fine. So it’s hard, you want to make the most of every opportunity, and we had an opportunity we just didn’t close it out. It stings.”
I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the Lions can establish their dominance and make it back next season.
Check it out:
The full Dan Campbell quote here is important, before bits go viral:
"I told those guys, 'This may have been our only shot.' Do I think that? No. Do I believe that? No. However, I know how hard it is to get here. It'll be twice as hard to get back to this point," he said. pic.twitter.com/uUYAvOdV1T