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Dan Campbell arrived with the Detroit Lions this offseason with plenty of questions about how he'd fare as an NFL head coach.
But there were no doubts about how much he cares.
The rookie head coach whose bombastic news conferences made clear that he was bringing enthusiasm to the job has now suffered five straight losses to start his Lions career after a 19-17 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The loss — like others before it — finished in heartbreaking fashion. It left Campbell in tears during his postgame news conference.
— FOX 2 Sports (@FOX2Sports) October 10, 2021
"When you see your players give all that they have, and you lose that way, it's tough," Campbell said, wiping tears from his eyes. "You don't want that for them. But we'll be better for it.
"Credit Minnesota, but we made the one mistake that cost us. Ultimately, we didn't do enough to win. I was proud of them. I love the fight they have him them. And I love the grit."
Another Lions heartbreaker
The Lions were seconds away from claiming their first win on Sunday. They converted an Alexander Mattison fumble with 2:00 remaining into a three-play touchdown drive to take a 17-16 lead with 37 seconds left of the game clock.
After a kick return, the Vikings started their final possession at their own 18-yard line with 33 seconds remaining. Quarterback Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 21-yard gain on first down. Two plays later, he found Thielen again for another chunk play, this time for 19 yards. The drive eventually set up Greg Joseph with a 54-yard field goal attempt. He hit it as time expired.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 10, 2021
The loss was the second in three games for Detroit that ended on a last-second field goal. The other one? It required an NFL-record 66-yard Justin Tucker kick that bounced off the crossbar and in to secure a Week 3 Baltimore Ravens win. It's a kick that wouldn't have happened had officials not missed a delay-of-game violation by the Ravens on the previous play.
So yeah. For a franchise with a storied history of futility, the Lions are finding new, gut-wrenching paths to losses in 2021. They're taking their toll on Campbell's emotions.