CHICAGO -- The locker room was mostly silent, other than a couple of small conversations and players talking with the media. Really, there wasn’t too much to say. What happened on the field Sunday was largely who the Detroit Lions have been the past three weeks.
Outplayed and outworked on the field every Sunday. Each game, culminating in the Lions’ 34-22 loss to the Chicago Bears, has looked worse than the last.
"Obviously, not a good game," Lions coach Matt Patricia said.
He has said approximations of that the past three weeks after consecutive losses to teams that are playoff contenders in the NFC, all by double digits. At this point, the frustration is noticeable. So is the reality of the Lions' situation.
The Lions last led a game with 14:15 left in the second quarter against Seattle, when a Tyler Lockett touchdown catch tied the score in a game the Seahawks eventually won. That was on Oct. 28, almost three full games ago.
There’s little reason at this point to expect things will change soon, either. Not when Detroit has Carolina, the Bears and then the Los Angeles Rams as its next three opponents. Yes, those are all at home, but Detroit’s current run of poor play has encompassed home and the road. All the losses have looked the same. Uncompetitive.
"We just ain’t getting the job done," running back LeGarrette Blount said. "Whatever it looks like, whatever it is, whatever we’re doing wrong, we just got to fix it. We’re not getting the job done. We haven’t got the job done six times this year.
"It’s something that we got to fix. We got to have a sense of urgency to figure out what’s going on."
What’s going on is the Lions are poor in every facet.
The offense was lackluster and unproductive, gaining most of its yards and scoring almost all its points with the game out of reach. Matthew Stafford was sacked six times a week after the Vikings brought him down 10 times and has appeared to regress.
The defense allowed Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to have a perfect passer rating in the first half, and he essentially tore apart the Lions' secondary, which was missing starter Darius Slay, all day long. Detroit did a better job stopping the run (2.5 yards per carry), but Trubisky had so much time to throw that the Lions’ defensive backs had no chance.
"I guess we’re just not preparing like we used to," defensive end Romeo Okwara said. "Definitely give the other team credit. Came out and outplayed us. And we just got to do a better job."
In clarifying about preparation, Okwara said the defense isn’t making plays and that it is on the players, not the coaches.
The Bears had 11 plays of 10 yards or more. One explosive play saw Quandre Diggs pointing in-play at DeShawn Shead, who took the blame after the game, as Anthony Miller dashed past them wide open for a 45-yard touchdown. Then there was the play where Christian Jones jammed Miller -- he was flagged for illegal contact -- but he ended up pushing him into Diggs, knocking Diggs over and letting Miller run free for a catch and an eventual 55-yard gain.
Chicago scored on its first four possessions, and it appeared as though the Bears could have named their point total. The coverage continuously broke down, leaving open receivers and befuddled defensive players.
"It’s more so confusion as to why it is happening," said linebacker Jarrad Davis. "We know our assignments. We know what we are doing. They excuse why it’s happening, that’s where the confusion comes. I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t say what it is. I don’t know what it is.
"I really want to find out so we can get it squared away, so we can come out and perform how we are supposed to perform on Sundays."
The coaching was equally bad. If it were a one- or two-week thing, you could say it’s a rookie coach learning his way. But four of Detroit’s six losses have been by 12 or more points.
Some personnel decisions didn’t make sense. Nick Bellore got his first career carry on a third-and-1 with the Lions trailing 13-0 and went nowhere, leading to a punt. Ezekiel Ansah, now in his second game back, appears to be a part-time player. The Lions used him almost exclusively on third downs and in obvious passing situations despite him being their best and highest-paid edge lineman.
Even Patricia’s ability to challenge calls Sunday were failures: He lost both of them.
The front office is at fault, too. General manager Bob Quinn, who hasn’t spoken to the media since the NFL draft, sat in the back of the press box Sunday and was stone-faced most of the day. Of course, what else would his reaction be after seeing the team that he assembled and the coach he hired fall flat fast. Again.
It all looks like the week before. And the week before that.
"They were just more ready to go than we were," Patricia said. "Can’t say we were or we weren’t [ready to go]. I thought we were. They just did a better job than execution."
Patricia has said that many times this season, but things are getting worse with no break in the schedule in sight.