Dan Campbell and Todd Bowles explain the weird time management in Endgame
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elected not to use the deadline. The Detroit Lions nearly made a mess of a kneeler. See what each coach said after the game.
It may have been overlooked as Detroit Lions fans celebrated their first trip to the NFC Championship game since 1991, but the end of the divisional round game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended with some truly bizarre coaching decisions from both teams.
Late in the game, Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes intercepted Buccaneers’ Baker Mayfield, giving Detroit the eight-point ball with just 1:33 left in the game. Tampa Bay only had one timeout remaining, so the game was practically over. Detroit can run at least 1:20 of that clock over three plays, not including the actual time it takes to run each play. As long as the Lions ran a play that took at least 4 seconds on average, the game was over.
However, both teams made very strange decisions during those three matches. For example, the Lions chose to kneel three times, but they did not run the maximum amount of time in each game. Their second kneel came with 16 seconds left on the play clock. The third kneel occurred with 14 seconds before the end of the game clock and 36 seconds before the end of the game.
That extra 30 seconds could have had Detroit bleeding, but they were saved by an even more curious decision from Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles. The Bowles opted not to use Tampa Bay’s final timeout, even though they could have theoretically stopped the clock with 36 seconds left, forced the Lions to attempt a 48-yard field goal, and at least had plenty of time to spare if Detroit missed. kick.
Coach Dan Campbell admitted Monday that they made a clock management error at the end.
“The whole thing was not handled well on our end,” Campbell said. “We should have bled him more than we did. Look, I’ll be the first to admit, that’s on me.”
Bowles, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any remorse after the game.
“They actually had a field goal and lined up and there would have been about 12 seconds left on the clock in the ballgame,” Bulls said Sunday night. “We were not coming back from that. There is no point in prolonging the obvious.
While Campbell says he made a mistake, he also said he felt the Bulls wouldn’t use that final timeout.
“We knew they had a deadline left and I could tell he wasn’t going to call it. And so, that’s just it — that’s how it ended.