It’s a script that’s quickly turning into something out of a Stephen King novel.
The Lions offense didn’t score until there were just 30 seconds left in the game, as three red zone turnovers were too much to overcome on the road against a good opponent.
“That’s the tale of the game,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the turnovers. “You turn it over three times in the red zone, two times inside the five-yard line and then once on a big chunk on a punt that leads to a field goal.
“Evenly matched teams, good team like Chicago (who) is leading the NFC North, we’re on the road – you’re not going to win that way.”
Now Schwartz finds himself in a 2-4 hole, and not one easily climbed out of.
“It is what it is,” he said of the 2-4 start. “You go out every week and compete. We’ve talked a long time about 16 games and how you have to be resilient in this league. This is going to test us.
“But we can battle back. We’ve battled back in games. We have to battle back during the season.”
Schwartz has been in worse holes to start a season in his NFL coaching career, but he certainly has his work cut out for him on this one.
When Schwartz was with the Titans in 2002, that team started 1-4 before running off 10 of their last 11 games to earn an 11-5 record and playoff berth.
After watching the Lions Monday, there’s little inspiration to think a similiar finish could be in the cards for this team.
The Lions did about as much as they could do to lose the game as they did to win it.
They fumbled away two scoring opportunities – one at the Bears’ 1-yard line – and also threw an interception at the 3-yard line for three total turnovers in the red zone.
In all, the Lions fumbled the ball six times – losing three of them.
"We understand that it's going to be very difficult when we turn the ball over to win games,” said Lions defensive tackle
“That's just kind of the way the ball fell for us in this particular game. We have to be able to bounce back from that and limit those moving forward."
There were no fourth-quarter miracles in the cards for Lions quarterback
“You know, if I had all the answers it’d be pretty nice,” Stafford said of the slow starts on offense this season. “We just haven’t been able to put points on the board early in the game and that’s obviously come back to hurt us.
“Our defense played great again tonight – kept us in the game. Offensively we weren’t playing well, especially in the first half. Second half, had drives, moved the ball down in the red zone four times, score once – that’s tough.”
Stafford finished 28-of-46 passing for 261 yards with one touchdown.
He hit rookie receiver
“I’ve got to play better,” Stafford said. “There’s opportunities for me to do it, I just haven’t done it. We’ve got to go out there and just, like I said earlier, make the plays that are there. They’re there to be made.
“I told those guys in there: ‘talk is cheap right now. You can say everything you want, but actions are going to speak a whole lot louder than words.'
"We can talk about taking care of the football, we can talk about making sure we’re on the same page, we can talk about making plays, but just got to go out there and do it.”
The Lions certainly need more out of an offense that has yet to score a touchdown in the first quarter this season and has trailed at halftime in every game.
They had a total of 91 yards of offense in the first half – 38 of those passing yards.
The only good news for the Lions was the play of their defense, which was more than good enough to win them the game.
In all, the Bears had 296 total yards of offense - 171 on the ground.
“I think that when you give up 13 you feel like you’ve put yourself in position to score,” Schwartz said.
“I think that we would have if not for the turnovers. Let’s give credit. Chicago’s a really good defense and they were making it hard on us. There were still plays to be made if we don’t turn those balls over.
"That tale’s been told a million times in the NFL. Four turnovers, three in the red zone, two down in there tight and one that’s a big chunk. You’re not going to win on the road that way.”
The Lions now find themselves a bit farther down in the NFC North race, too, after all three of the other teams in the division - Bears, Vikings and Packers - won this weekend.
Simply put, the Lions and Schwartz are in real trouble of getting too far behind to catch up and have problems that need to be addressed and a short week to address them.
“We’ve got a chance to go back home next week and play a tough Seattle team on a short week for us,” Stafford said. “Honestly, I’m glad it’s a short week. I don’t want to be sitting around thinking about this one too much longer.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier for Stafford and the offense with the Seahawks and their sixth-ranked defense coming to Ford Field next Sunday.