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FOUR DOWNS: Campbell calls offensive plays in tie with Steelers


We knew head coach Dan Campbell was more involved in the offensive game planning for Detroit coming out of the bye week, but the extent to which Campbell was involved became more clear after Sunday's 16-16 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Campbell called the plays Sunday, though he said it was an overall collaboration with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

"I'm taking a lot of input," Campbell said. "I still talk to A. Lynn. Plays come in. But, yes, I was giving it to Jared (Goff). I just – one of the things was why not change it up a little bit here. I wanted to be able to talk to him in-game.

"Sometimes I think when you're able to get in the flow of the game when you're the guy who's calling it. I don't think it's a big deal. There were still things I was giving to A. Lynn when he was calling. It's just now I took the green dot basically to Goff so I could communicate to him."

It seemed like a Dan Campbell kind of game from the beginning with 39 rushing attempts and 229 yards on the ground for the Lions. That was partly due to the weather, and Goff straining an oblique muscle in the first quarter, but it was a hard-nosed game plan against a really physical Steelers' defense.

Conditions were tough, but there's certainly things Campbell will be able to evaluate from his performance as a first-time play caller and look to improve. Detroit finished with just 306 yards of total offense. They averaged 4.5 yards per play, punted 10 times and converted just 4-of-18 third downs.

Campbell said he wasn't sure if he'll be calling the plays next Sunday in Cleveland as well.

"We'll see. Just kind of analyze it," he said. "I need to see what I did, what I can do better. Is there a better way to go or – just kind of go from there."


D’Andre Swift can't remember ever carrying the football 33 times in a game.

"I'm a little sore," he joked after Sunday's game. "I'll be alright."

With no Jamaal Williams for a second consecutive game, the Lions leaned heavily on Swift. He carried 33 times for a career-high 130 yards. His 33 attempts tie Kevin Jones for the sixth-most carries in a single contest in franchise history.

"Listen, Swifty I thought had a big game, man," Campbell said. "He did some really good things in the run game. We know he's been pretty dynamic in the pass game for us, able to do a few things. But, man, to see him – and you could feel it early.

"First couple of runs, man, he kind of had that look. And so just being able to give him the ball. And certainly with (Jermar) Jefferson going down, he was going to get more of a load. But, yeah, I think this will be big for him."

Swift came into the game leading all running backs in receptions and receiving yards, but Sunday he proved he can also carry the load on the ground when needed to. Swift is a complete back.


With veteran Taylor Decker making his season debut after missing the first eight games with a finger injury, rookie Penei Sewell moved back to right tackle Sunday after filling in for Decker at left tackle the first two months. Sewell spent all offseason and training camp on the right side, and he looked good against the Steelers.

Sewell was solid in the run game all afternoon, and did a very good job keeping Steelers talented pass rusher T.J. Watt off Goff for most of the game.

"It felt real comfortable," Sewell said of the move back to right tackle. "It was really a testament to all that work that happened in training camp when I was getting comfortable with the position."

Sewell said playing left tackle for eight games helped the transition to the right side too. It helped prepare him for the speed of the game, and gave him the necessary experience needed to seamlessly shift back over to the right side.

"Yeah, I was real comfortable out there," Sewell said. "Felt like I didn't skip a beat."

The Lions are a better team offensively with Decker and Sewell on the field together.

View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 10 game at Heinz Field on Sunday, Nov. 14 in Pittsburgh, PA.


Sunday's overtime between the Lions and Steelers was wild. It wasn't until I actually got to sit down and go through the play-by-play that I realized just how much drama was packed into 10 minutes.

The Steelers turned the ball over twice in the 10-minute period and still didn't lose the game. I don't know it for a fact, but I'm not sure that's ever happened before.

Detroit had a chance to win the game with a 48-yard Ryan Santoso field goal, but he simply didn't strike it right. He caught it fat. The golfers out there know the feeling.

Detroit had four possessions in overtime and couldn't score, though the final eight seconds required a lateral attempt that fell short.

Not only did Pittsburgh fumble twice, but they also snapped the ball 19 yards over quarterback Mason Rudolph's head which forced a punt.

Each team was flagged three times in overtime.

"I think that whole game was kind of weird," Goff said. "The whole flow of the game kind of put us in that situation where we were kind of -- we don't get exactly what we want.

"And in the OT where we hit across the field. We had some stuff we were feeling good about. But it was kind of weird the whole day and we were feeling that."

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