After two straight playoff wins, the Detroit Lions are heading west to battle the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 28, 2024.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell says his team is right where they need to be.
“The minute you start trying to make this greater than it really is, which is another football game right in front of you and you prepare the same way, you practice the same way, you put your socks on the same way, that’s when you – I think you run into problems,” Campbell told the media earlier this week.
“It’s the next game and they’ve done this all year. Our guys have done it all year. We’ve done things right. We understand what it’s going to take, and we respect the opponent and know what they’re capable of. And we know exactly what we’re capable of. And you go into it.”
Campbell added preparation is key before this upcoming NFC Championship, much like every game.
“You want to have a list of things that you’ve looked out for,” he said.
“I would say it’s more early in the week you have those and then as the week goes on by the time you get two hours before the gametime, you want to have checked every one of those boxes. So, it starts early, it’s a long list and you make sure you go – because look, there’s a lot of things that don’t get closed out until literally two hours before the game. You finally have I guess dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s. Everything is where it needs to be. That’s really in all regards. I think that’s offense, defense, and for me too, the gameplan in all three phases.”
Despite the magnitude of the game, Lions quarterback Jared Goff said he prepares the same way he does every week.
“No different,” he told reporters.
“Wednesday-Friday, do the gameplan and study it up and get ready to go.”
Goff had nothing but praise for Coach Campbell and his leadership style as well.
“I think the number one thing that I think about with him is his emotional intelligence, how well he can read the room and know people and that’s maybe characteristic number one of being a leader and why he is so good at that,” Goff said.
“But he knows when to push, when to pull, when to tell you he needs a little bit more from you, when to love you up. He’s got such a great feel for all that, which is why he’s so special.”
Goff added: “We all respect him because he tells us how it is and he’s sat in our seats before and understands on day 15 of training camp that we’re tired and it’s hard and we know he gets it, but at the same time he’s going to push us. And when a guy that knows it is still pushing you, you kind of trust that a bit more. And yeah, it’s a good way to be as a head coach and it helps us.”
Kick off is set for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST.