“Motor City” Dan Campbell, MCDC for short, has his Detroit Lions and the whole Motor City believing in his football team after the Week 1 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. And it was the Lions coach’s bold and fearless decisions that not only won the game but likely set the tone for the franchise’s entire 2023 NFL season.

The fearless approach to football comes naturally to Campbell, who spent a decade in the NFL trenches as (mostly) a blocking tight end for the Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants. And as a coach, he’s shown the exact same level of fearlessness and ferocity.

In the Lions-Chiefs Week 1 tilt, the gutsy calls started early. On 4th-and-2 from the Lions’ own 17-yard line in a scoreless game, Campbell called a fake punt that barely gained the required yardage. Detroit got the 1st-down, though, and went on to score the first touchdown of the NFL season.

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Just because Campbell was fearless, though, doesn’t mean all his bold calls worked out well for the team.

Right before the half, the Lions coach accepted a penalty that gave the Chiefs a 3rd-and-17 instead of declining the infraction and setting up a 4th-and-2 for the Chiefs near midfield. Patrick Mahomes (of course) made a spectacular throw that ultimately set up a touchdown and gave Kansas City a 14-7 halftime lead.

And at the end of the game, Campbell decided to pass on 4th-down with 2:30 to go near midfield again to ice the game, but Jared Goff had his pass batted down, and the ball went back to Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, who fortunately choked on their final drive.

Ultimately, the Lions got the Week 1 win, their first since 2017 (although they did tie the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the 2019 season). So, the aggressive Dan Campbell decisions will go down as the “right” ones.

These decisions were right for another reason, independent of the result, though. They set the tone for the coming season and showed the Lions organization, its players, and its fans, and the rest of the NFL that Campbell and his team are all in on winning games and making it to the playoffs this season.

Detroit hasn’t made the postseason since 2016 and has only had winning records (nine wins) in two of those six seasons. With a strong roster and a weak NFC and NFC North, now is the time for the Lions to make their push, and Campbell is going to make sure they push as hard as they can.

Especially in a game like the Lions-Chiefs Week 1 contest, where the home team was missing players, dropping balls, and generally shooting itself in its foot at every turn, many (if not most) NFL coaches would have played it conservatively and let the Chiefs beat themselves.

Not MCDC, though.

Dan Campbell made decisions for his team on Thursday night the same way that 6-foot-5, 265-pound tight end with blond flowing hair made decisions for himself from 1999 to 2008. Whatever the most aggressive and fearless option was, Campbell ran head-first into it.

This mindset will be how the Lions play all season, and if Thursday was any indication, it will work out more often than not and lead to enough wins to end up in the playoffs. After that, anything is possible.