If there's anything that jumps out the most about Detroit's 3-5 start to the 2018 season, it's how inconsistent they've played, really from week to week.
The same team that thoroughly dominated the New England Patriots and Tom Brady Week 3 is the same team that didn't look like they belonged on the same field as the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's 24-9 loss.
It's that level of inconsistency that has to be so frustrating for head coach Matt Patricia and his coaching staff.
"I think we do a good job of really trying to cover everything we need to cover to get ready for the games," Patricia said after the loss. "We really work hard and that's the bottom line. There's no replacing hard work.
"So, we just have to go do a better job of it and we have to work harder and make sure that we understand everything that we're trying to do and everything that our opponent is trying to do, and we have to go execute it on gameday.
"We only get one day a week to perform well, all the way across the board coaching and playing, and we just have to get consistent at doing that for the games."
There seemed to be more questions than answers from the players in the locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium after the game Sunday, trying to find some way to explain the reasons for their fifth loss of the season.
"We just have to go out and execute," veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones. Jr. said. "We can't shoot ourselves in the foot. I definitely think we did that today. We just have to get better."
This is an issue that has to get corrected quickly, or the Lions will find themselves in too big of a hole to climb out of, even in a jumbled NFC North.
"It's just happening and we have to fix it," Jones said.
The Lions have to find some level of consistency moving forward, and get away from the crazy highs and lows we've seen through the first half of the season.
THIELEN HELD IN CHECK
One of the few positives to come out of Sunday's game was the job the secondary did in containing Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen to preserve a Calvin Johnson record.
Like Johnson in 2012, Thielen entered Sunday's contest with eight straight 100-yard receiving performances.
Thielen did catch a touchdown in the game, but was held to only 22 receiving yards on four catches.
Thielen and Johnson will hold the record of consecutive 100-yard receiving performances together at eight games.
After sitting out the last six games with a shoulder injury, the Lions got Pro Bowl defensive end Ziggy Ansah back in the lineup Sunday.
Ansah split time with Romeo Okwara, but was able to make an impact. He had a sack on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins late in the first half at the Lions' 21-yard line that forced a field goal.
Ansah's sack was the only one in the game for the Lions.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
- Defensive tackle Damon Harrison continues to play well for the Lions. He led the defense with six tackles and also had a tackle for loss.
- Football can be a strange game sometimes. The Lions had more first downs than the Vikings (18-17), won the turnover battle (2-1), and had the advantage in time of possession (36:45-23:15), but still lost the game by double digits.
- Of course giving up 10 sacks, a 70-yard run, a defensive touchdown and going 0-for-3 in the red zone does explain some of that.