ALLEN PARK -- They're 0-2 — with the possibility of being 0-3 at the end of
the day Sunday — and it's not sitting well with the Detroit Lions.
It wasn't supposed to be that way this year. Not with a new head coach. Not with a decorated offensive coordinator. Not with an aggressive defensive coordinator.
But that's where the Lions find themselves — in desperate need of a victory — after losses to Seattle (9-6) and Chicago (34-7), with the Green Bay Packers due at Ford Field on Sunday.
"Every time we line up we're trying to win," said free safety Terrence Holt. "We didn't want to go 0-2 last week but it is what it is and (this) is a divisional game so it's a very, very important game for us.
"We need to get ourselves not too far out of this divisional picture. We need to get on track and start with Green Bay, try to get a win."
After the breakdowns in the Chicago game — most notably the 14 penalties — coach Rod Marinelli took full responsibility for the loss, saying it was obvious he had not drilled the necessary discipline and composure into the Lions players. Marinelli indicated he would remedy the situation in this week's practices but, to Holt, that does not necessarily mean a tougher week of work.
"To be honest with you, all of our practices since he's been here have been tough and hard," Holt said. "I think sometimes in the grind of the season you lighten up a bit; with past coaches you lightened up a bit just because you get guys injured and you get guys that are banged up a little bit.
"I don't think that's the mentality around here, I don't think that's his approach now. I think we'll continue to practice the way we've been practicing. It starts with us. If we do the things we're capable of doing, the things we're supposed to do defensively, then those plays that were big last week (for Chicago) would have been eliminated and plays this week — if we do what we're supposed to do and are disciplined — then hopefully we can negate some of those big plays from happening."
Although Marinelli is willing to take the blame for the Lions' shortcomings, the players are still chafing from the 21 penalties that have cost them 165 yards in the first two games.
"I would say it's a lack of focus, a lack of concentration, too anxious," said wide receiver Roy Williams. "You get too excited because you know a big play's coming but you just have to sit back in your seat, relax and let the play develop."
Marinelli is as eager to get the first win as any of his players but he says he's looking at it as just one of 16 games.
"It's the game that's in front of us," he said. "We've got to go out every game, every snap, we've just got to play well and win. Label it what you want (but) we've got to go out and win this thing this week."
SERIES HISTORY: 146th game in the NFL's longest uninterrupted series of all time. It will be the 152d including the games played when the Lions were still the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans in the 1930s. The Packers hold a 77-62-6 edge in the series, including nine of the last 11.
WEEK THREE PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
—LG Ross Verba missed the first two games of the season with a strained hamstring but he said he expects to play Sunday in the Lions' game against Green Bay. Verba, a former Packer, was the starting LG from the moment he began off-season workouts until he was injured in workouts late in training camp.
—TE Casey FitzSimmons has the cast off the left wrist he broke in the opening preseason game, is taking all of his work in practice and is expected to play for the first time this season Sunday against Green Bay. FitzSimmons was the starting TE until he suffered the broken wrist but coach Rod Marinelli did not say if he will start against Green Bay.
—TE Dan Campbell has had only one reception in each of the first two Lions games but they have made him the team's unofficial big-play receiver. He had a 30-yard catch against Seattle in the season opener and had a 23-yard catch to set up the Lions' only touchdown in their 34-7 loss to Chicago. Campbell was signed primarily because of his blocking ability.
—WR Mike Williams has not played in either of the Lions' first two games and it remains uncertain whether he will be active for their game Sunday against Green Bay. Williams had a disappointing rookie season with 29 catches for 350 yards and one touchdown in 2005 and has not been able to impress the new coaching staff enough to get into a game.
—S Daniel Bullocks is getting additional reps in the Lions defensive secondary and is likely to get additional playing time due to the foot injury that is expected to keep SS Kenoy Kennedy out of action in the game Sunday against Green Bay. Bullocks was the Lions' second-round pick in the April draft.
WEEK THREE GAME PLAN: The Lions have two major concerns Sunday. Their defense has to put the heat on Green Bay QB Bret Favre to avoid becoming his first victim of the season and, offensively, they have to get production out of their passing game against a Green Bay defense that has been giving up an average of 292 yards per game.
WEEK THREE MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
—Lions WR Roy Williams vs. Packers CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Williams has been talking the talk and walking the walk but he'll be playing against two quality CBs this week.
—Lions RB Kevin Jones vs. Packers WLB A.J. Hawk. The Lions need at least the threat of a running game to give QB Jon Kitna a chance to be effective throwing the ball, and that means Jones has to be more effective with the ball in his hands.
—Lions CB Dre' Bly vs. Packers WR Donald Driver. Bly is still the Lions most dangerous defensive playmaker but he'll have his hands full with Driver, whose 15 receptions for 249 yards puts him among the NFL leaders.