Lions’ Dan Campbell explains late game mismanagement: ‘Of course you can’t’

The Detroit Lions made a mind-bending move toward the end of their Thanksgiving game against the Chicago Bears that ultimately led to their downfall.

In third place, as the Bears crawled to the goal line, the Lions were penalized for calling back-to-back timeouts for having trouble with too many men on the field. The time-out penalty allowed Bears quarterback Andy Dalton to convert the first deficit and give Cairo Santos an easier try for the winning field goal. The Lions were penalized for calling back-to-back timeouts with approximately 1:54 left in the game.

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Detroit Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye, right, celebrates his interception with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Detroit.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Chicago ended the 18-play drive with Santos’ game-winning 28-yard field goal.

The Bears won the game 16-14 and held the Lions scoreless. The final drive lasted eight minutes and 30 seconds, and the mismanagement at the end of the game ended up costing the Lions at least a chance to drive across the field and attempt a game-winning play.

Detroit coach Dan Campbell explained the decision.

LION MISMANAGEMENT IN DEFENSE LEADS TO LION WINNING FIELD GOAL

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, November 25, 2021, in Detroit.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, November 25, 2021, in Detroit.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

“Of course you can’t,” Campbell said via the team’s website. “But we had miscommunication. Half of our secondary had one call and the other half had the other. It was a check by what they were doing so you don’t get it until the middle of the game, but it’s something that we had discussed About. You don’t get it pre-snap. It’s a call and it basically has a check on what they’re going to do and what they line up offensively.”

Campbell was asked what would have happened if the team had not called a timeout.

“Stand there and watch them score, I guess,” he said.

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone said the defense had changed the schedule after the Bears reached maximum protection and he tried to pass the call.

Alex Anzalone of the Detroit Lions reacts against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on Nov. 25, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.

Alex Anzalone of the Detroit Lions reacts against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on Nov. 25, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

“I think we called timeout, and I’m not sure if everyone was on the same page. It was still, I think, third after that. Anyway, the five-yard penalty wasn’t that big of a deal Instead of a touchdown, the game was really out of reach,” he added.

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Detroit never got the ball back.

Detroit dropped to 0-10-1 and hasn’t won a game since December 6, 2020 – ironically against the Bears.

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