When the Lions showed up on the field and scored the game’s first touchdown, folks knew they were there to play. When they recovered an onside kick and then successfully executed a fake punt on the next series and went for yet another fake punt later on, the world knew Detroit came to win.
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The devil-may-care way the Lions approached the game made some national headlines, and most folks were downright thrilled that Dan Campbell threw caution to the wind with his 0-7 Lions. One such personality was former NFL punter Pat McAfee.
On Monday, October 25 edition of The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee explained that in his opinion, the Detroit staff managed to out-coach Sean McVay and the Rams staff during the game given some of the special teams issues that happened during the game.
“I like the fact that Dan Campbell looked in the mirror and said ‘we’re gonna f****** need everything, so listen up (Dave) Fipp.’ Campbell tells Fipp probably Monday, ‘everything you have.’ What are we running? Everything you have,” McAfee said. “We’re gonna run a stop route, alright, we’re going to run a little sweep to the outside, it’s gonna be wide open after we’ve already had a surprise onside kick, one fake before that, then that. Fipp, Campbell and the Detroit Lions coaching staff as a whole out-coached the Rams special teams coordinator and the Rams coaches by far. You can’t give up two fake punts in very obvious situations. They out-coached the hell out of them.”
If there’s anyone who would know about the value of good special teams and coaching, it would be McAfee considering his career in the league as an elite NFL punter for years with the Indianapolis Colts. McAfee had two Pro Bowls to his credit during his time in the league.
Obviously, he continues to be a fan of what Campbell brings to the league as he always displays when he discusses the Lions on his show.
Watch Lions Dominate Rams With Special Teams
It was a banner day for the Lions on special teams. The team used an early onside kick to grab some momentum and keep the ball out of the hands of a high-powered Los Angeles offense.
On the very next series, the Lions were faced with fourth down. Not wanting to give the ball up, they pulled off the fake punt and managed to take an early 10-0 lead on the Rams.
Later on, the Lions pulled off yet another fake punt to help change field position and give their side a boost in a game that was very much in the balance.
All of this proved how much coaching and studying had gone into the game, and it’s clear Dave Fipp, Dan Campbell and company deserve credit. It takes major amounts of planning to pull off fake punts and onside kicks, so for Detroit to make a whole game plan around ambushing Los Angles with these moves multiple times was impressive just like McAfee said.
Dan Campbell Gaining Gambler Reputation
It’s clear the coach has thrown away the rulebook when it comes to coaching the Lions this season entirely. For better or worse, Campbell routinely rolls the dice on fourth down and has thrown caution to the wind all season long in terms of making things happen on the field. The coach is a bold one for moves like this, and with all of his fakes on the field, he is gaining even more of a reputation for being a coach that lets it all hang loose on the field and is a threat to make something fun happen in between the lines.
It’s clear Campbell could be gaining a reputation as a coach that is a gambler, perhaps in a good way. That has helped him in terms of his ability to coach and win matchups week to week like McAfee says.