Head coach Dan Campbell's assessment of the Detroit Lions before the season didn't leave much wiggle room to expect success in the first year of the new regime of Campbell and GM Brad Holmes.
The Lions had such a narrow margin for success, Campbell said, that they had to be almost perfect to achieve it. That doesn't mean Campbell was giving in. It just meant they had to work hard and rely on young players to win.
What we've learned about the Lions after the first four games is that they are far from perfect. That is evident in their 0-4 won-loss record.
We also learned that as bad as the Lions' performance looked in Sunday's 10-point loss to the Bears, Campbell looked at how the Lions could have won that game.
And with a look back at the first four games, we learned that communication in the secondary to prevent big plays – "explosives" as Campbell calls them, still needs work; and the offensive line that was a strength of the team has not been together for a single snap.
We start with Campbell, and his reflection on how the first four games have gone and if it was tougher than he expected.
"I was preparing for however it fell," he said. "I'm an optimistic person. I have high expectations, but I also understand that things may not go the way you want them to go.
"I'd love to be 4-0. I'm still not discouraged. I still go back to what I said. Even as bad some of the plays that we put on tape yesterday, we were two plays away from wining that game. That's on us.
"We have to learn how to win -- close out some of these drives. And we will. We've got to be better at some of these things.
"I don't have expectations as far as all of a sudden, 'Well, this is harder than I thought it was going to be.' I was prepared either way."
The bright side: Campbell began his weekly press conference Monday with a statement before taking questions.
It was a turnabout on how the Lions could have beaten the Bears.
"We eliminate one explosive on defense, we score one touchdown out of the four times we were down there, we win that game," he said. "You make two more plays, and you're feeling a lot better today.
"That does not excuse the loss. There's a reason why things happen. But man, you make a couple plays and you feel a lot different today than the way we feel."
"Explosives:" Communication in the secondary was a priority in practice last week to prevent the Bears from dropping a big play. Practice did not make perfect.
Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields dropped a bomb on the Lions, just as happened in the previous three games.
It started in the opener when 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with wide receiver Deebo Samuel on a 79-yard TD pass on third and eight in the third quarter to give the Niners a 38-10 lead.
In Week 2 vs. the Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit wide receiver Davante Adams with a 50-yard pass on third and 12 to keep that possession alive. It ended in a 20-yard TD pass to tight end Robert Tonyan that gave the Packers a 21-17 lead on the way to a 35-17 win.
In the Week 3 crusher vs. the Ravens, quarterback Lamar Jackson hit wide receiver Sammy Watkins with a 36-yard bomb on fourth and 19 to put the Ravens in position for Justin Tucker to attempt a 66-yard field goal. He made it to give the Ravens a 19-17 win.
And Sunday vs. the Bears, Fields connected with wide receiver Darnell Mooney on a 64-yard pass that put the Bears in position to score their second TD on a run by David Montgomery for a 14-0 lead.
O-line, no line: Adjustments had to be made when left tackle Taylor Decker went out with a hand injury sustained in practice the week of the opening game.
On Sunday, Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow went out in the first half with a toe injury. Evan Brown took Ragnow's spot and is likely to remain there until he returns.