Lions HC Dan Campbell explains double timeout error at the end of the Bears game

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The Detroit Lions defense needed a stop. The Chicago Bears, who were one down, were already in field goal position and time dwindled in the fourth quarter. Facing a third-and-9, a first attempt would give Chicago a new set of downs, enough opportunities to bleed the remaining time on the clock and the possibility of a chip-shot field goal to win the match.

As the Bears collapsed, Lions defenders tried to communicate with each other as Ford Field fans flooded the stadium with noise. Just before Bears quarterback Andy Dalton snatched the ball, the referees stopped the game because the Lions had called a timeout.

Unfortunately it was not allowed. The Lions had just called a timeout after the previous game. Officials are told to ignore back-to-back timeout requests, but if the referee accidentally stops the game, the team is penalized 5 yards and they lose the second timeout.

That gave the Bears a much easier third-and-4 game, which they continue to convert. They wanted to run dry the rest of the clock, and Cairo Santos’ 28-yard field goal gave the Bears the victory and the Lions their 10th defeat of the season.

Afterwards, head coach Dan Campbell explained what went wrong on the critical double timeout.

“Of course you can not do that, but we had (a) wrong communication,” Campbell said. “Half of our secondary had one call, half had the other, so yes, we got a timeout.”

If you’re wondering how the Lions secondary could have such a communication blunder coming out of a timeout, Campbell said it was because there was a check at the line and not everyone saw or heard it. And based on what Campbell saw, he feared the Lions were about to give up a clear signal.

“The first thing in my head is, ‘Well, we have a blown cover and they’re about to score a touchdown,’ ‘Campbell said.” So I do it, which you can not, and now it’s a penalty, but I knew he was throwing it in the apartment and it was about to be a touchdown. “

An argument could be made that allowing a touchdown was a better result than taking a 5-yard penalty there. There was still 1:54 left of the game on the critical game, and Detroit would have got the ball back with plenty of time to equalize or win the ball game, depending on whether the Bears converted a hypothetical two-point conversion. But with the penalty, the Lions still had a chance to stop at a third-and-4 and only needed one field goal to win. Instead, Bears receiver Damiere Byrd captured a 7-yard pass with relative ease, causing the ball game to play.

Campbell is going to hear a lot of criticism for Detroit’s performance on Thursday. Not only was the double timeout a bad look at a critical moment of the game, but the Lions also seemed to warn on the side of conservatism again, and the team was marked for 10 penalties that were extremely expensive, especially on the offensive.

“We had too many penalties today, but the penalties – some teams can overcome them, some can not. We can not overcome the penalties right now that we get,” Campbell said.

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