The explanations are easy to come by -- a missed assignment, an untimely fumble, a busted play -- but the fact remains that the Lions simply haven't been able to run the football effectively in the first two games of the season.
In fact, only one team -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- has been less productive than the Lions, who are averaging a sickly 42 yards per game.
Rod Marinelli can explain it: "You see it -- a block here, a helmet on the wrong side, things are kind of set up a little bit and we're doing just the littlest things (wrong) right now."
And Marinelli knows what the Lions have to do about it.
"We've just got to stick with it," he said. "We got behind (against Chicago) and weren't able to stay with it. We had a couple breakout runs early in the game and then we just -- in terms of attempts -- we didn't get as many attempts after we got behind 24-0, we ended up throwing the ball."
But if there is any one player feeling the anguish of a struggling running game, it is third-year running back Kevin Jones.
In two games, Jones has carried 26 times for 79 yards and has lost three fumbles. In the second half of his rookie season, 79 yards wasn't even a good day's work for Jones and, as for the fumbles, he had lost only one -- total -- in his first two NFL seasons.
Part of the problem could be that the Lions haven't had their first team offensive line together in the first two games. Right tackle Rex Tucker missed the first game recovering from a training camp injury and left guard Ross Verba is expected to play for the first time Sunday against Green Bay.
That might be part of the reason Jones has not run with confidence. He has been tentative at times and, on occasion, he has hit the line going sideways or backwards.
Jones said he was "trying to get skinny" in hitting the hole when he didn't square up to the line of scrimmage but Marinelli suggested: "A couple of times I felt he could have turned it up and got his shoulders north and south."
As for the fumbles, Jones said he wasn't going to become obsessed with the problem.
"I'll be concentrating on it," he said. "I'm not going to harp on it because
I know that I'm not going to just give the ball up every game. I've just got to
hold on to it."