The way playoff contention ended for the Lions last week at Ford Field, Sunday's game at Minnesota made for a somwhat-eery atmosphere.
Last week's loss put an abrupt halt on having a tangible next step to play for and -- with one game remaining -- disconnected the final game of the regular season from the previous 15.
Add the fact that the Lions were without multiple starters lost to injury --
"It was difficult," said head coach Jim Schwartz following the Lions' 14-13 loss. "It’s not just Calvin that wasn’t out there. Obviously, Pettigrew was not out there.
"We were mixing and matching a lot of different personnel groups with offensive linemen out there trying to take some of our tight end snaps, wide receivers playing a lot of different positions. We had some wide receivers going in and out of the game with some injuries."
It certainly wasn't the way the Lions wanted to finish the season, both with the loss of the game and the 1-6 record to close out the season.
"There are a whole lot of things we can point to, but ... it’s been hard," said veteran guard
NEWS, NOTES AND STORYLINES FOLLOWING SUNDAY'S LOSS:
- In his 'Four Downs' column, detroitlions.com's Tim Twentyman cites Schwartz's future in Detroit, fourth-quarter collapses, the Lions' December record and the little things done (or not done) to win games.
- Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz confirmed to reporters that Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson will need offseason knee surgery, but categorized it as "minor".
- Mike O'Hara takes a top-level look at the 2013 season, including the highs and lows and the players who upped their stock and those that didn't.
- O'Hara also looks at what this loss meant to the Lions, what players made an impression and more in season finale at Minnesota.