DETROIT -- No part of Matthew Stafford likes this, even if he thrives in it. No part of him prefers the situation his Detroit Lions have been in again and again this season, the come-from-behind, need-some-big-plays-in-short-times world this franchise has lived in throughout the 2016 season.
Nah, Stafford would prefer the way his team beat New Orleans a week ago -- thoroughly and without drama -- than what happened again Sunday against Chicago, with Detroit picking up comeback win No. 8 this season in a 20-17 win over the Bears.
"No. The week before was a lot better," Stafford said. "Last week was a lot more fun. But, you know, we'll take it. Any time you can get a win in the division."
The Lions have been taking them any way they can get them this season, mostly off the foot of Matt Prater, the arm of Stafford and opportune plays from a defense that has now held seven straight opponents to 20 points or less.
The Lions are officially the best comeback team in NFL history now, their eight come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter or overtime this season the most by any club in one season in league history. It's in their nature. Despite what happened last week in New Orleans, this is who the Lions are.
They are the team that always believes, that seems to play better the tighter the circumstances and the more dire the situation. It isn't comfortable. It isn't easy. But it is so, so descriptive of Detroit -- even if the Lions would prefer the way they beat the Saints more.
None of Stafford's teammates wanted to be in this position, either. They all would have preferred the way Detroit played against New Orleans to the inconsistent play the Lions exhibited Sunday. But this might also be what the Lions, who are used to this, will have to accept.
Win by any means necessary, even if it is more difficult and more stressful and as normal as normal gets during this very abnormal Detroit Lions season.
"We don't want to say, 'Yeah, OK, we're back to normal,' like it's a good thing," receiver Marvin Jones said. "Great, yeah, let's come back in the fourth quarter. That's not us."
Except it has been completely, totally the Lions this season.
"If you put it that way, yeah, but we're still winning," Jones said. "That's the most important thing."
That's been Lions coach Jim Caldwell's message throughout his coaching tenure -- find a way to win. And this season, in their similarly heart-pounding way, the Lions have done that. Sunday's degree of difficulty, though, might carry on to the rest of the season.
Stafford, the team's unquestioned leader and MVP candidate, will likely have to play with a glove the rest of the season after injuring the middle finger on his right hand. It’s a glove -- and an injury -- that he said affected his grip and his velocity. And a lot of the credit for the Lions come-from-behind ways goes to Stafford, who predictably deflected the credit Sunday afternoon even though he's been the guy -- along with Prater -- who has made so many crunch-time plays.
"It's going to show up as a quarterback stat that's really a team stat," Stafford said. "Guys in the huddle with me on offense that make big plays to help us do it, guys on defense that make huge plays to help us do it. Prater's done some unbelievable stuff to help us do it.
"So that may be put on my resume, but it's a total team thing."
And it's the team that helped Stafford on Sunday -- and will have to continue to do so if the Lions want to keep their winning ways. Even with Stafford not at his best, the Lions won their fifth straight game -- and eighth in their past nine -- with him running the show. So they can believe that they can do it because they have so many times before.
They've dealt with injuries. They've dealt with tight situations. Now they need to prepare for that with the three toughest games of their season -- at the New York Giants, at Dallas and home against resurgent Green Bay -- left to go.
But back to normal? No, the Lions insist the way they won Sunday is just doing whatever they have to in order to win.
"Nah, it ain't no back to normal," cornerback Darius Slay said. "We just go out there and win, man. We trying to compete and win. We ain't worried about what situation we're in. We don't care if we're winning by 30, we trying to win. That's it.
" ... I don’t care if that means 0-0 and we get a safety at the end of the game. I'm with it as long as we got more points than them. That's what matters. That dub."