NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
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If the ball bounced a different way, the Detroit Lions would be in Las Vegas gearing up for Super Bowl LVIII. However, the team finds itself on the outside looking in on the big game after blowing a 17-point lead in the NFC Championship Game to the San Francisco 49ers

The major talking point coming out of the collapse was some questionable decision making by head coach Dan Campbell down the stretch. Twice in the second half, he elected to keep his offense on the field on fourth down and both times they were unable to convert. Each failed attempt was then made worse by an ensuing 49ers touchdown on their next possession. Both times, the Lions were in field goal range, and had Campbell opted to kick in the third quarter (like he did at the end of the first half), Detroit would've gone up by three scores. Instead, they kept the door open for San Francisco and they ran through en route to an NFC title. 

Naturally, Campbell's decisions have been under major scrutiny, but the locker room seems to have been in full agreement with going for it. Jared Goff supported the call postgame and now linebacker Alex Anzalone has penned a note in The Players' Tribune defending it as well. 

"It was the right decision — and I'm not talking about the right decision for analytics or talk radio or whatever," Anzalone wrote. "It was the right call for us, especially in that moment. When you're in that situation, 20 games into an NFL season, it's not like a video game. You're not playing Madden. You had guys out there playing with bum ankles. Guys playing with MCL sprains. Guys taking nerve injections and toradol. Guys who could barely get out of bed that morning. It's a battle of wills at that point in the season. You're just running on pure belief and adrenaline. I feel like if you shy away from your identity in that moment, then you're betraying the very thing that got you there." 

He added that the decision to kick at the end of the first half was what surprised him the most with his team not going for it. Anzalone also added: "To a man, I think we'd do it again."

While that game spoiled a chance for the Lions to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in the franchise's history, Anzalone believes his team will be back in contention. 

"What we're building here is extremely special," wrote Anzalone. 

He continued: "We will get there. I look at this roster and I see so much to be excited about. Jared. Aidan. Amon-Ra. Penei. Jahmyr. David. Frank. Sam. Dogs everywhere, up and down the roster. But it goes beyond talent. It's not like a catchy saying you put up on the walls of the facility. It's not something you can put into words. It's something we feel in our bones. We want to make history next season. Anything less is failure."

At the moment, the Lions have the second-best odds to win next year's Super Bowl (+1300, Caesars) out of the NFC, only looking up to the Niners.