Lions head coach Dan Campbell surprisingly admitted he told his team they may have blown their ‘only shot’ at making it to the Super Bowl, following Sunday’s embarrassing loss.
Detroit suffered a heartbreaking 34-31 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game after blowing a 17-point lead in the second half.
‘I told those guys, this may have been our only shot,’ Campbell said after the game. ‘Do I think that? No. Do I believe that? No.
‘However, I know how hard it is to get here. I’m well aware. It’s going to be twice as hard to get to this point next year as it was this year. That’s the reality. And if we don’t have the same hunger and the same work, this is a whole ‘nother thing.’
The Lions had not won a playoff game for an astounding 30 years before this year’s postseason run that by all means should have culminated in a trip to the Super Bowl.
Lions’ Dan Campbell admitted the team may have blown their ‘only shot’ at the Super Bowl
The Lions blew a 17-point lead in the second half against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday
‘Once we get to the offseason, we got no shot of getting back here,’ Campbell said. ‘I don’t care how much better we get or what we add or what we draft.
‘It’s irrelevant. It’s going to be tough. Everybody in our division’s going to be loaded back up and you’re not hiding from anybody anymore. Everybody’s going to want a piece of you.’
Aside from the possibility that the rest of the NFC North will indeed ‘load up,’ Detroit will have a much larger target on their backs with teams now knowing it will be a tough matchup if they are stepping onto the field against the Lions.
Under Campbell’s leadership the Lions have soared from being one of the teams often found at the bottom of the league’s standings to one of the toughest to beat in the entire NFL.
Fans in the stands at a Ford Field watch party were left devastated at the end of the game
Back during Campbell’s first season in charge of the Lions in 2021 the team finished with a 3-13-1 record. Fast forward to the present and Detroit finished the regular season with a 12-5 record.
They went on to beat the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before blowing what many thought would be an unsurmountable lead against the 49ers.
One thing that Campbell and the Lions will have going for them as they try to make up for their NFC Championship collapse, however, is stability at the quarterback position.
Before the loss to San Francisco reports had emerged that the team was set to begin discussions on a new deal with Jared Goff, who is currently set to enter the final year of his contract in 2024.