Head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday just a day after his team fell to 3-5-1 on the year with a 20-13 loss in Chicago.
It was an unusual game for Detroit Sunday against the Bears. Detroit out-gained Chicago in yards, 357-226, the Bears were just 2-of-12 on third down, and the Lions forced nine Bears punts, but a key turnover, three straight Chicago scoring drives in the middle of the game and some untimely Lions penalties and drops proved to be the difference.
"Certainly some mistakes in there that I think just cost us from having an opportunity to win the game in the end," Patricia said.
Here are the key questions from Monday's media session:
What was the timeline of events that kept quarterback Matthew Stafford from playing Sunday?
Stafford's streak of 136 straight starts was snapped after he was ruled inactive Sunday due to a back injury.
Stafford took reps during the week and said Monday he felt fine during the course of the week. He thought he was slinging the ball pretty well, and even joked that reporters should ask the receivers to see what they thought.
"He felt really good through the course of the week, so that was all positive from that standpoint," Patricia confirmed. "We had some additional scanning Friday evening that took place, and that scanning really caused us to have some further internal discussions over the weekend. That was really kind of what sparked some of those conversations."
Patricia told the team Saturday they'd have to prepare for all outcomes in regards to Stafford, and the team actually extended their walkthrough to give backup Jeff Driskel some more reps.
"We spent most of Saturday trying to figure out a way if there was a way for (Stafford) to play safely," Patricia said.
Knowing Stafford would want to play, Patricia said he wanted to wait as long as possible to make a final decision. The team got to Chicago late Saturday night, got done with meetings, and at that point Patricia knew Stafford probably wasn't going to start.
"Out of respect for him and everything that he's done for this organization, I just wanted to leave the option open when we got to Sunday if he wanted to dress," Patricia said. "I think that's important, I think that's important to a player.
"I've been in that situation before where I had to tell a very established, long-term, long-time great player in the NFL that he was inactive, and it probably broke my heart more than it broke his to tell him that. So, I wanted to leave him that option, and therefore we would make it official on Sunday morning if he wanted to dress."
Jeff Driskel was told at that point that he was going to start.
What did Patricia think of Driskel's performance after watching the tape?
Driskel completed 27-of-46 passes for 269 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 73.6. He also rushed five times for 37 yards.
"I certainly think Jeff did everything we asked him to do from a standpoint of running the offense and some things in there that we had game-planned up that were specific for some of the things that we thought would hurt the Bears that he did a good job of," Patricia said.
"Certainly, there are some plays out there that we would like to have back in those situations, but I thought he handled the situation really well. I thought he tried to do everything he could to help the offense. I did think he tried to do everything we asked him to do there."
Why does Patricia think he's the right man for this coaching job?
Teams are judged on wins and losses, and when the losses add up more than the wins, coaches are asked these kinds of questions.
"I work as hard as I can to try to do everything I can to make this team better," Patricia said. "I truly believe that this team is tough. I truly believe that this team goes out and fights every single day. I think they work hard.
"There's probably progress that I see that I think is encouraging that maybe everybody else doesn't see because we're judged by what we do on Sunday, and that's where we need to improve. There's no doubt about that. But, like I said, for me I come to work every single day. I work my butt off to try to do everything I can to help this team win. Honestly, I think we're whatever we are, 24, 25 games in. So, we have a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do, but we're working really hard at that."
Is there an injury update from Sunday?
Right tackle Rick Wagner, running back Ty Johnson and safety Miles Killebrew all begin the week in the concussion protocol. Wagner and Johnson suffered their concussions Sunday in Chicago. Killebrew's was from practice late last week.
The team is still going through the medical evaluations on defensive tackle Kevin Strong's rib injury.