FIRST DOWN: LACK OF PRESSURE
The Detroit Lions are missing last year's NFC sack leader, Ziggy Ansah, in a big way.
Ansah suffered an ankle injury on the third play in a Week 2 loss to Tennessee and hasn't seen the field since. The Lions have lost all three of the contests he's missed.
Sunday's 17-14 loss in Chicago was probably the most they've missed him since his injury.
Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer was sacked just twice in the game, and one was via a cornerback blitz from Darius Slay. The front four generated just one sack (from Kerry Hyder), one pressure and four quarterback hits. Hoyer was pressured just twice overall in the game.
"You'd like to certainly be able to get more pressure, and pressure without blitzing if you can help it," head coach Jim Caldwell said.
"We need to get more pressure, but I think we have guys that are capable of it. We've just got to do better."
Hoyer ended up completing 28-of-36 passes for 302 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.1. He had time to scan the field and complete passes to seven different receivers virtually untouched.
"We just have to keep after it, you know," linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. "Keep mixing the calls up. We just have to get home. We just have to get to the quarterback. Just find a way. Just corralling the quarterback and keeping him in the pocket."
SECOND DOWN: GAME PLANS
The Chicago Bears did exactly to Detroit what the Lions had hoped to do to them coming in.
Chicago established their ground game early on and ran the ball effectively all game to the tune of 114 total yards. The Bears were fundamentally sound and didn't turn the ball over. And they made the plays down the stretch.
"We take a game like this and look at ourselves," said tight end Eric Ebron, who is part of a Lions offense that got off to a slow start for a second-straight week. "The coaches don't go out there and play. They just prepare us.
"What we have to do, what we have to accomplish, they don't go out there and play for us. We play the game, and if we don't execute the game plan they put together, we lose."
Caldwell certainly wasn't hiding from the fact he and his coaches have to do a better job moving forward in getting this team ready to play after their third straight loss.
"Well, I can just tell you this, I like to look at the results more than people talking about what they can do, or can't do, or what's happening, those kinds of things," Caldwell said.
"Obviously, we're not doing a very good job of it right now. That's our responsibility and right now we're not doing a good job."
THIRD DOWN: ROBERTS' BIG PLAY
When a reporter asked Caldwell this week about the lack of big plays they'd received from veteran return man Andre Roberts through three games, Caldwell interrupted the question with the word 'yet.'
Caldwell believed earlier this week it was only a matter of time before Roberts and the return game popped one.
Turns out Caldwell didn't have to wait very long.
Trailing by 11 points with two minutes and 12 seconds left in the game, Roberts fielded a punt on his own 15, weaved through the traffic, and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown to keep Detroit's comeback hopes alive.
"I told you, you'll see the guy has ability, if we get some guys blocked he can make some things happen," Caldwell said after the game.
"But still, too little too late. He did a nice job on that punt return, found some space, they blocked for him well. It's not easy to return a punt in the National Football League for a touchdown."
Roberts totaled 100 punt-return yards on two attempts. He also had a nice 31-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
FOURTH DOWN: MISCOMMUNICATION
Matthew Stafford did what any quarterback and leader would do after the game when he fell on the sword and said the miscommunication between he and Golden Tate late in the first half that led to an interception was his fault.
"At the end of the day communication is on the quarterback, so I've got to do a better job of getting what I want out to them," Stafford said.
With just 16 seconds left in the half and the Lions at the Bears' 22-yard line looking for points, Stafford threw a short pass to Tate at the 16-yard line, but Tate was running a fly. The ball landed right into the hands of Bears cornerback Jacoby Glenn, who returned it 21 yards to the Bears 34-yard line.
Drive over. No points.
After the game, Tate wasn't going to let his quarterback take the fall for the miscommunication.
"It's just a silly mistake on my part," Tate said. "I'll own up to that, missed a signal. It cost us three points. It's tough. That can't happen in this offense. This team expects more out of me, so I've got to be on point. I missed a signal."
Tate had just one catch for one yard in the game. He also caught a late two-point conversion.