"We need to make up our mind on what we want to do and what we need to do as a team," Pettigrew said. "It's past time. Now is the time."
Pettigrew didn't go as far as to say the Lions are in a desperate position after falling to 4-5 on the season and dropping their third straight in the division (0-3).
Pettigrew called the situation "serious."
He might be understating it.
"Desperate's not a very good word to use," said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. "We're 4-5. We need to go play. We've got some home games we need to take advantage of."
The Lions has an opportunity Sunday to go above .500 for the first time since a Week 1 win over St. Louis and take a big step toward getting themselves back in the playoff hunt after a 1-3 start. Instead, the Lions are looking farther up at the playoff contenders with games vs. the Packers and Texans looming on the horizon.
"It is what it is," Schwartz said. "We're 4-5. That's what our record is. We've got three games at home. We start this week against Green Bay. It doesn't matter what's happened in the past. We have stuff in front of us and we have to play better than this in order to win."
They'll have to play much better, actually.
'We'll see what (we're made of), but the next one in front of our face in the biggest one," Lions center
The Lions have made a living over the last couple years of being able to come from behind to win games after starting slow. Three of their four wins this season came via comeback fashion. But there were no magical second-half comebacks in the works this time around.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made sure of that.
Peterson ran over, around, and through the Lions defense to the tune of 171 yards and a touchdown. The Lions gave up 189 yards on the ground in the game.
"We missed too many open-field tackles," Schwartz said. "Our tackling in the box; we had guys gang tackling and working hard there, but the plays on the perimeter, we couldn't afford those. He made those, he made our guys miss or he ran through tackles or we had a guy out of position and we paid the price for it."
Now in 11 career games against the Lions, Peterson has 1,165 yards and nine touchdowns.
"We know what he is," Tulloch said of Peterson. "He's a great back. We contained him for the most part of the game and we kind of let up in the third, fourth quarter.
"He got a couple of runs on us on the outside and was able to take it to the house. We just have to play a complete game. When you face a guy like Adrian Peterson, it takes four quarters; you can't play for three and a half. You have to play for all four. Today we didn't finish."
The Lions defense gave up 403 total yards of offense and allowed Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder to complete 24-of-32 passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 114.2, which is the first time since Week 2 he's had more than a 100 rating.
The Lions secondary was exposed from the very first series of the game when rookie Jarius Wright went right down the seam and got behind Lions defenders for a 54-yard gain, setting up the Vikings' first touchdown. Sunday was the first time Wright's been active all season.
The Lions wasted a 207-yard effort by receiver
"I felt that we took advantage of a lot of opportunities we had today, but there's still more to be had and there's more that we can do, obviously, because we didn't come out with the 'W'," Johnson said.
It was the fourth 200-yard performance of Johnson's career (including the playoffs), but he also a had a crucial fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a Vikings field goal and a three-score deficit at the time.
The Lions have had no answers for why they can't seem to get their offense going early in games. They started 0-for-6 on third down in this one and finished just 1-for-9 for the game. They also lost the turnover battle 2-0.
The game was ultimately decided in a back-and-forth fourth quarter that accounted for 31 total points between the two teams. The Lions trimmed the Vikings lead to 24-17 midway through the fourth quarter, but a punt and then a 61-yard touchdown run by Peterson gave the Vikings a 31-17 lead and proved to be too big of a deficit to overcome.
The Lions had just 60 rushing yards and they failed to take advantage of favorable boxes to run against all game. For the second straight game against the Vikings, the Lions lost the battle in the trenches.
"It's a long season," Tulloch said. "I've been in situations like this before. We have to find a way to bounce back. We can't let up now, we're a good football team, we just have to put it all together and limit the mistakes.
"We talk about it week-in and week-out, but its gut check time. There's no tomorrow. Green Bay is the mission at this point. We need to put this game behind us and keep going."