The reeling Chicago Bears realize a sputtering offense has been a key culprit in the team's four-game losing streak entering Sunday's visit from the Detroit Lions.
If the Bears are to snap the skid against their NFC North rivals in a battle for third place in the division, they're equally aware of what can take them back to the win column: Focusing on incremental improvement, then going beyond.
"You're just looking for that one or two plays to kinda turn things around," Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. "You kinda gotta feel where the guys are at. Maybe you go back to a simple play that our guys are really good at, the guys are confident with, just to kinda turn things around. You gotta have those conversations like that on the sideline and be real with each other and figure out where we're at and how we could change things."
Chicago (3-5) has eclipsed 17 points just three times this season and averages 17.8 points a game, ranked 27th in the NFL. Detroit (3-4-1) ranks 12th in that category at 25.5 points a game.
Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, shouldered much of the blame as his season-long struggles continued during the Bears' Week 9 road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Chicago gained just 9 yards of total offense in the first half, its lowest output in a first half over the past 40 years.
"We just got to come out better," Trubisky said. "We've got to come out faster. We've got to come out with a different attitude, kind of like we did in the second half, with a little chip on our shoulder. I think if we start the game like that, we give ourselves a better chance. Right now, we're not giving ourselves a chance, starting like that."
The Lions, by contrast, faded down the stretch of their Week 9 road loss to the Oakland Raiders, as Oakland outscored Detroit 14-7 in the fourth quarter to claim a 31-24 victory.
Detroit has lost four of its past five games after starting the season 2-0-1, with three defeats coming by one possession. The Lions have allowed at least 420 yards in five games, and coach Matt Patricia has been quick to point the finger at himself as his team attempts to recover in the second half of the season.
"I'm going to start with me," Patricia said. "I'm going to go back and see what I can do better, how I can teach it better and how I can coach it better. Again, it really doesn't matter what I know -- it's what the players know and how they play out on the field, so obviously I got to get that across to them better."
Improved run defense is a focus for Detroit this week after the team allowed 171 rushing yards to the Raiders.
"We didn't finish some of those run fits very well," Patricia said. "I thought we had some good initial alignments, good initial knock-back, tried to get rid of the offensive guys too soon, and they did a good job of staying on it."
Chicago leads the all-time series 99-74-5 and has won two straight meetings following a stretch of nine Lions victories in 10 games.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman (thigh) was Chicago's most notable absence from Wednesday's practice. For Detroit, left guard Joe Dahl (ankle), defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (ankle), punter Sam Martin (abdomen) and safety Tracy Walker (knee) sat out.
--Field Level Media