49ers DB Logan Ryan on Lions’ failed fourth downs: ‘That’s the wrong call’

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Published
Jan. 29, 2024 5:20 p.m. ET

The San Francisco 49ers mounted one of the greatest postseason comebacks in recent memory during their 34-31 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday night. 

The Niners were down 24-7 at half after Detroit’s Michael Badgley knocked in a 21-yard field goal just before the first half ended. And from the looks of it, the home team’s chances looked incredibly thin heading into the second half. 

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But it was field goals, or Detroit’s lack thereof, that became the story of the night after Detroit failed to convert on a pair of fourth-down tries in Badgley’s range. Dan Campbell stood by his decisions to roll the dice following the game, and his propensity for gutsy calls is a trait he’s become known for. 49ers defensive back Logan Ryan, however, called the moves a big mistake. 

“That’s the wrong call,” Ryan told Colin Cowherd Monday on “The Herd.” “I mean, I don’t coach, but I’m like why would you do that? Because you can go up three scores or if we stop you, the momentum’s already shifting our way, and one thing I learned about these big comebacks is momentum is every series. You got one team clock-watching and worrying about the lead, and you got the other team going for it. Now they got momentum, then turnover, then a score, then a fourth-down stop.”

“It’s just momentum,” he said, “and it’s a snowballing effect. I think the field goal could’ve maybe took some momentum away, but they went for it, that’s how they got there. That’s how Detroit got there, they knew that. They got in that game by taking chances. And that’s what they’re about, they’ve gone for it more than any team in the league on fourth down. … So that’s their DNA and they went for it, right or wrong, the analytics say it’s even. But they didn’t get it, so, thankful for us.”

Ryan is certainly not upset at Campbell’s decision, but he might have been had the Lions been able to convert. And those decisions will live with them both for a long time. It’ll be Ryan and his troupe, though, that will be able to look back at the plays with fond memories.

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