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Frank Ragnow: 'You'd Love to Go For It'

Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow reacts to Lions tough loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
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Frank Ragnow is back in the fold for the Detroit Lions' offensive line. 

After missing the Lions' Week 2 win vs. the Washington Commanders with a toe injury, the veteran center returned to the playing field Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He proceeded to play in all 78 of Detroit's offensive snaps.

He helped Lions signal-caller Jared Goff avoid being sacked for the first time this season, and also paved the way for Detroit to gain 139 yards and record two touchdowns on the ground. 

For his efforts in the Week 3 NFC North divisional tilt, Ragnow earned a 65.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. 

Despite the quality play of Ragnow and his offensive linemen counterparts Sunday, the Lions ended up losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Vikings, 28-24. Minnesota scored the game-winning touchdown with 0:45 to play in the contest.

Ragnow had a hard time Sunday night coping with the loss. 

"(It was) definitely frustrating," the fifth-year pro told reporters Monday. "Definitely tough to sleep. Definitely hard to stay asleep. I woke up pretty dang early this morning (Monday). Just wish we could've closed it out." 

Since the loss, Detroit head coach Dan Campbell has been heavily scrutinized for his decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-4, with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Lions leading, 24-21.

Prior to Campbell opting for Austin Seibert to attempt what was a 54-yard field-goal try, the fourth-year placekicker had already missed from 48 yards earlier in the game.

Additionally, the second-year Lions head man had been "Mr. Aggressive" up to that point, going for it on fourth down six times and converting on four of the attempts.

However, with Detroit hanging on to a slim, three-point lead, Campbell suddenly became conservative with his decision-making, and settled for the failed field goal. And, it ultimately cost his team dearly. 

It made little sense then and still makes little sense now. In retrospect, Campbell wishes he would've left his offense on the field to try and make a play.

"I freakin’ regret my decision there at the end. I should’ve gone for it (on fourth down),” Campbell said after the game Sunday. “You know, I told the team that I should’ve gone for it." 

Ragnow, for one, wasn't willing to question his head coach's decision to fail to go for it on fourth down at the end of the Week 3 contest.

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"I kind of just try to stay in my lane, kind of just try to execute my job," Ragnow said. "Yeah, you'd love to go for it. But, hindsight's everything. 

"To be honest, us as players, us as an offensive line really, at the end of the game, we shouldn't have even been put into that position. We should've been way more clean up front, a lot better execution all around, me especially. So, I think we shouldn't have even put coach in that position. We should've closed out the game before that play." 

Last year, Detroit played in a number of highly-contested games that ended in defeat for Campbell's squad. And, several times after those losses, the Lions ended up losing their game the following week in lopsided fashion.  

Ragnow isn't worried about that happening this season, though. 

"There's confidence still, man," Ragnow told reporters. "Obviously going through those situations last year, that can only make us better. We know what we can be, and we know what we have to do. Really just comes down to the details.

"As frustrating as it is, week after week, when we do lose, it's frustrating to go back to that. But, if we can just grind on the details and kind of execute on the small things, we'll be alright." 

Ragnow credited the culture that Campbell and his coaching staff have built in Detroit as a reason for why he continues to have confidence in what he and his teammates can do this season, despite the 1-2 start.

"I'm really confident in this group," Ragnow expressed. "We've been through a lot together. There's all kinds of stuff that happens to this team, and we never phase. And, that's part of our head coach, and kind of part of our culture. So, I'm really confident in these guys and excited for the week ahead."