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Dan Campbell Appears To Be In Over His Head Coaching Detroit Lions

Read more on why Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell appears to be in over his head coaching the Lions.

It was the same old Lions and the same old lethargic, uninspiring offense in Detroit's 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns Sunday. 

And guess what, the blame for the team's completely lackluster, uncreative offensive game-planning can no longer be placed upon the shoulders of Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. 

He's no longer calling the plays on offense, and the man who now is, I think you know his name. It's Lions head coach Dan Campbell

With Campbell taking over the offensive play-calling duties from Lynn, the offense is now going completely through the former NFL tight end and is going to sink or swim with him. 

And boy did it do a lot more sinking than swimming on Sunday. 

As it has been the majority of the season, the passing game was missing in action all game long, and Campbell's subpar play-calling contributed to the Lions becoming one dimensional on offense. 

Tim Boyle, who made his first career NFL start under center in the place of the injured Jared Goff, attempted 23 passes (completed 15 of them), and recorded a measly 77 passing yards and zero touchdowns, to go along with two interceptions. 

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After the game, Campbell admitted that he didn't want to put too much on Boyle's plate in his debut as an NFL starter. 

"Look, I wanted to be smart, too. I didn't want to throw this kid to the wolves," Campbell told reporters. "I mean, that's not fair to him, either. So, I thought for what we asked him to do, he was solid."  

Sure, you can bring up the fact that Boyle being ineffective and proving to pundits and fans alike Sunday that he's not an NFL starting-caliber quarterback played a factor in the offense struggling to move the football down the field.

And, there were also too many careless mistakes made by the Lions, such as offensive guard Jonah Jackson drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the third quarter. To make matters worse, the penalty came right after D'Andre Swift had gained 13 yards on a run play from Detroit's 45-yard line.

Despite all that being said, it's also fair to argue that Campbell's play-calling left a lot to be desired and did little to help Boyle and the offense be productive in the Lions' Week 11 contest in Cleveland. 

For instance, in Detroit's second drive of the second quarter and with Cleveland leading, 7-0, Campbell & Co. had the opportunity to take advantage of some good starting field position that resulted from a missed field goal by Chase McLaughlin and a neutral zone infraction penalty called against Browns defensive tackle Tommy Togiai. It allowed the Lions to start the possession at their own 41-yard line. 

And, what ended up amounting from the drive: A total of four yards gained and a decision on fourth-and-1 from Detroit's own 45-yard line that was perplexing. 

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Instead of leaving Boyle and the offense on the field to go for it, Campbell opted for Jack Fox and the punt team. 

This is the same Campbell that was "Mr. Aggressive" and going for it in seemingly every fourth-and-short situation in the first half of the season. 

Certainly, he couldn't keep up those ways, and needed to find some nuance with his play-calling. 

However, if there was ever a time to be aggressive, it was at the beginning of the second quarter Sunday, in what was a very winnable game for his winless squad against an injured and largely ineffective Baker Mayfield. 

Yet, Campbell elected for the punt, and took a high-percentage opportunity to get a first down away from his team. 

The first-year Detroit head man dumbfounded fans and pundits alike yet again later in the game. 

With his team trailing by three points, 13-10, with 3:11 to play, Detroit faced a third-and-14 situation from its own 36-yard line. 

There's no questioning the fact that Boyle had struggled all game long leading up to that point. So, his play didn't warrant a ton of confidence from the Lions' coaching staff in such a crucial, late-game situation. 

However, it's also true that anyone who knows anything about football understood that a well-designed pass play was the best way of converting the long third down into a first down. 

So, with that knowledge, guess what Campbell decides to do: He runs a draw play to Swift that goes for five yards. 

Yeah, not good, and far from the play that he should've drawn up in the aforementioned situation. 

It didn't have an ounce of creativity behind it, and once the ball was snapped, the Browns were likely salivating at the mouth, knowing that the play wasn't going to end up in a first down for Campbell's squad. 

The Lions never got the ball back, as Cleveland used a nine-play, 42-yard drive, relying heavily on the legs of Nick Chubb, to run out the clock. 

Campbell's shoddy play-calling Sunday marked two weeks in a row where he was clearly outcoached and looked unfit to be an NFL head coach. 

In his defense, he's only 11 weeks into his first year as the full-time head man of an NFL franchise, and is the sideline boss of a team that is in desperate need of a boost in talent on both sides of the ball. 

So, it wouldn't be fair to do a complete evaluation of Campbell yet. 

However, the early returns on his time in Motown indicate that he might just be in over his head as the leader of an NFL team.