(Part-2) Lions lose to 49ers in NFC Championship Game following exciting comeback.

Campbell's aggressiveness is entertaining. It's unconventional. That tenacity, fourth-down decision-making, and conviction in Goff got the Lions to the NFC title game. At the end of the first half, Campbell kicked a field goal instead of pushing for a touchdown, but he didn't kick one in the second half. Campbell returned in the second half when pragmatism prevented him from taking a three-score advantage into halftime.

Campbell is unapologetic. He convinced naysayers by betting on his players at every step. You can't win with Goff, said some. No one drafts running backs in the first round anymore. Using valuable assets on tight ends and safeties is wrong. You can't always let statistics guide fourth-down calls. That's fun during the season, but not on championship Sunday. Still, Campbell did those things.

The Lions defied naysayers all year by betting against orthodoxy. Campbell envisioned this team when he got the job for two quarters on Sunday: Bully ball offense with power-running, explosive throwing, and a strong defense. The Lions dominated the Niners on both sides in the first half. At 6.2 yards per carry, they gained 182 yards and three touchdowns. Goff sent fire to every part of the field as the game slipped away. Despite earning the most in the league, the Niners' defensive line struggled for most of the game.

Campbell doubling down as the game slid away is understandable. So they lost the lead. They committed uncommon blunders. A flowing offense with a lifetime 76% field goal kicker from 40 to 49 yards and 46.7% from 50 or more. Going for it instead of kicking the field goal made sense for Campbell. He would gamble and the Lions would go down swinging, as they had all season.

Data geeks say the procedure was good but the outcomes were bad. If Campbell kicks even one field goal, the Lions may have booked a Vegas trip today. But that would have betrayed the Fighting Campbells' values.

Campbell is more chess-playing than kneecap-biting. That stuff matters. All coaches preach rah-rah culture; Campbell embodies it. The Lions went from a laughingstock to a contender in three seasons with his gutsy approach to teamwork, play-calling, and outside criticism. No Lions have played in the Super Bowl. They felt this was their year. Get into the dance if not to win it all.

Campbell alone had that idea. He led the squad six quarters from a title with his vision, culture, and unwavering faith in his players. His players executed throughout much of the season, rewarding his daring. These players vanished in the greatest game.

“I understand the scrutiny I will get,” Campbell said post-game. “But it just didn’t work out.” Aggression got the Lions close to the Super Bowl. Poor play cost them a chance to snap a 60-year championship drought.