Sometimes the mountain is too high.
That was the case for the Detroit Lions in Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, and it likely will be the case again in the upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Whatever personnel issues the Lions might face, head coach Dan Campbell is convinced that his team will play as hard as they can and as well as they can no matter the circumstances.
That's what we learned again -- playing for pride and personal motivation -- in Campbell's comments after Sunday's game and again at his weekly Monday press conference.
"At this point you find out who loves this game," Campbell said Monday. "You talk about a silver lining, that's where we're at."
Among the other things we learned from the Broncos game include the following: The model offense Campbell wants to build might be different than what people think; rookie running back Craig Reynolds' performance was not a complete surprise; and rookie cornerback Jerry Jacobs' knee injury showed the dangers of playing football.
We start with Campbell: It's been clear since his arrival that he says what he means and means what he says.
His view on what the Lions have to play for in the last four games with a 1-11-1 record falls into that category.
"We're not playing for the playoffs," he said. "You're playing for the game. You're playing for the love of the game. You're playing for the name on your back, and you're playing for the guy next to you.
"I'm competitive, and I want to win. We've got a good opponent this week. People say they might be the best in the NFL. It'll be a great test, no different than what we said two weeks ago.
"We're trying to find a way to win a game. We want to compete and have a chance to win at the end.
"Nothing changes as far as that's concerned. I don't care who we have. We'll go to war with the guys we have. It may be the same guys that you just saw yesterday. We'll have them as prepared as we can get them and go out and see what we can do."
Campbell's model offense: Campbell was asked in his postgame press conference if the Broncos' style of leaning heavily on the running game was the model for what he ultimately wants for the Lions.
"No," he replied. "I'd love to control it with the run game and be as explosive as hell with the passing game."
It should be fun to watch if it works.
Rookie runner: Reynolds' performance -- 11 carries for 83 yards, two catches for 16 yards -- surprised most people, but not Campbell. He was elevated from the practice squad because of injuries.
"Just as a play caller, I didn't have one problem handing the ball to him," Campbell said. "I trust him. What he did (Sunday) didn't surprise any of us."
Jacobs: The rookie cornerback is one of the success stories of the Lions' season. As an undrafted free agent, he made an immediate impression in the offseason workouts.
Jacobs rose quickly on the depth chart. He played all 13 games with nine starts, and gave every indication that he would be a fixture in the Lions' defensive backfield for years to come.
Jacobs was injured on a routine play in the first half Sunday .
Jacobs understandably was shaken by the injury. He posted the following message on Twitter asking for support from his mother, who passed away in 2011: