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Despite 0-4 start, Campbell thinks Lions are closer than they appear

Every win and loss in the NFL is typically determined by a handful of plays here or there in any given contest.

Despite the 0-4 record to start the season for the Detroit Lions, head coach Dan Campbell keeps reminding himself of that fact. A play here or a play there could be the difference between the Lions having a notch in the win column and them being one of two winless teams in the NFL (Jacksonville).

"Look, 0-4 stings, but at the same time, we're not as far away as it appears to be," Campbell said this week. "I just bring it up again, we were two plays away last week. You could argue we were two plays away from winning that game.

"Look, that's nothing against Chicago, they played well. It's a credit to them, but we are not as far away as it appears to be."

It's hard to argue that fact, especially when it comes to Sunday's contest in Chicago. The Lions had four trips inside the Bears' 10 yard line, and came away with 0 points in an eventual 10-point loss.

They were a fourth and 19 and a 66-yard field goal away from beating Baltimore the week prior.

Campbell has made the point that this team isn't good enough yet to overcome some of the mistakes that keep popping up. They can't overcome turnovers in the red zone. They also can't afford penalties taking away big plays, like the one against Baltimore that gave a fumbled punt deep in Baltimore territory back to the Ravens, who then scored a touchdown.

This team needs to play consistent football for 60 minutes to win, and that hasn't happened yet in four games.

But still, Campbell and the coaching staff have faith they're on the right track, and the players are still buying in.

"My rookie year we were on a tough team and it seemed like as the season went on and we lost more games, you start going like this (pointing down) mentally a little bit, right?" quarterback Jared Goff said Thursday. "And I was young and I didn't really know any better, but here it doesn't feel that way.

"We have lost four in a row, but we do feel like we are improving, we are doing the right things in practice, we are making plays in the game."

How can the Lions continue making the plays needed to win games? How can they eliminate the mistakes? Those are the key factors.

"How can we stop beating ourselves really is the bottom line and we're getting there and it's always a day at a time," Goff said. "It's always one practice at a time, but I believe in these guys, I believe in Dan (Campbell), I believe in our coaches and believe that the pop will happen and from there, like to answer your question, hopefully the momentum starts from there."

The Lions are hoping that begins Sunday in Minnesota against the Vikings.

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