DETROIT - "Well that was a long day."
Dick Jauron said it all with his post-game remark.
During Sunday's 41-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the interim Lions coach watched his lethargic bunch fumble, throw interceptions, drop passes and miss tackles en route to the team's fifth consecutive loss.
Cincinnati clinched its first division title since 1990, improving to 11-3 while the Lions sunk to 4-10.
"That was what you fear may happen and then it happens," said Jauron. "It started clearly from the first kickoff when we turned it over. We make a stop and make them kick it, but we didn't slow them down much after that. We had to do that, so we couldn't turn it over and then we did. All the things that we didn't want to have happen out there happened and the game got out of hand.
"That is what we feared could happen with this team and unfortunately that is what did happen."
Although Jauron was referring to the Bengals, that could have easily been applied to the hapless Lions.
Detroit tallied just 270 yards of total offense, managing just 13 first downs and turning the ball over another four times. Save a nine-play, 74 yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter, the team was relatively motionless.
Harrington quickly engineered a seven-play, 69 yard drive, finding wide receiver Charles Rogers on an eight yard slant that turned into a 35-yard touchdown.
But it was too little, too late for the Lions, who yielded 426 yards to the high-powered Cincinnati offense.
The Bengals scored during each of its first four possessions, securing a 17-0 lead and, for all intents and purposes, the game.
Harrington said the return was bittersweet.
"It's nice to be back out there but the situation is something that you never want to step into," he said.
Before Garcia was replaced, he had tossed three interceptions and was largely ineffective. Jauron indicated he would review the quarterback position, but wouldn't commit to a change -- at least not until Wednesday. Garcia finished 13 of 21 for 138 yards and one touchdown.
Asked whether or not he questioned his team's effort, Jauron seemed less than convincing.
"I felt that they did, but I will have to see the tape," he said. "It was a very discouraging day obviously for everybody."
Injury Notes: Lions' defensive tackle Shaun Rogers is expected to play next week despite laying on the Ford Field turf for an extended amount of time with a leg injury.
"Shaun (Rogers) okay," said Jauron. "He is banged up obviously; he is awfully sore. It is not a new injury, it is a recurring number of things that just caught up to him on that hit. But he got up and came back across the field."
Reaction To The Fans: Although a smaller-than-expected number of fans donned orange or showed up to the "Angry Fan March", their discontent was still apparent during the loss. Many fans toted an array of anti-Matt Milen signage to protest the team's discouraging season, but Jauron and a some Lions understood their anger.
"I have to say that so many things were happening on the field that were not good for our football team that I don't know what happened there," said Jauron referring to the crowd. "I am glad they showed up and in decent numbers. As I said before, we are the only ones that can put an end to their disappointment. We just have to perform a lot better and win a lot more games and then we won't be addressing these issues."
Said quarterback Joey Harrington: "I was happy to see that things didn't get out of control. I was surprised by the nature of it, but you never like to come to your home stadium and see people wearing the opposing team's color."
Wide receiver Roy Williams was optimistic.
"Well, it's not disappointing," Williams said. "I know, and we know, that they are Lions fans at heart. They are just trying to get a point across to us and to management and we understand that. We just have to go out there and perform better.
"It's coming. It's coming."