DETROIT - Pride.
And he's right.
After the team's third consecutive defeat, and fifth loss in the last six contests, the Lions have virtually no post-season shot. Not that it was really in the cards, anyway. Following last Monday's firing of head coach Steve Mariucci, and controversial remarks cloaking the team in self-doubt, the 2005 season has become a wash.
Despite a scoreboard that would reflect differently, the team was also never really in the game.
"Anytime you go out and lose, while putting forth a good effort it's always tough," Rogers said in the locker room afterwards.
He must have been referring to his own play, and not necessarily that of his teammates. While Rogers recorded four tackles and a sack, making his presence felt frequently, the team forfeited 345 yards to the Vikings' offense -- tallying just 223 of their own.
The continued poor play under interim coach Dick Jauron drew the ire of fans in attendance. At one point, the home crowd began cheering for Minnesota -- who has quickly become a playoff contender. From a largely ineffective Jeff Garcia at quarterback to frequent lapses in the secondary, the play -- and confidence -- of the team has entered a downward spiral.
But Rogers admitted it was up to the team as individuals to correct the shortcomings and respond, regardless of how dire the situation.
"Everybody has to take a look in the mirror and realize exactly what they are playing for," said Rogers. "I think if you look in the mirror you are going to realize that you are playing for yourself.
"I don't mean that in a selfish mentality, but instead as in a pride mentality and you can't go out there to get embarrassed. If that doesn't get you up to play, than I don't know what will."
The team will have its opportunity to make amends, traveling to Green Bay (2-10) next week. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at Lambeau Field, where the Lions haven't won since 1991.