DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions still can't handle success.
One week after an upset of Atlanta, the Lions looked helpless against Frank Gore, who rushed for a franchise-record 148 yards in the first half, and the team repeatedly shot themselves in the foot offensively in a 19-13 loss to San Francisco.
"I don't know, and I really don't care," said Lions coach Rod Marinelli when he was asked if his team was still thinking about the Falcons victory.
"What I'm trying to do here is go one play at a time and one game at a time."
Marinelli planned to let his team know exactly what he thought of their performance when they gathered for Monday's film session.
"I'm not a sugar-coater," he said. "I'm going to put this film right in their faces. I'm not going to put everything on them -- the coaches and I didn't do our job of getting them ready -- but I'm going to be honest with them about what went wrong."
The Lions have only won back-to-back games twice in the Matt Millen era, and have never put together a three-game winning streak. After beating Atlanta, and with games coming up against Arizona and Miami, some players were publicly talking about reeling off four straight.
Now, though, they will have to go back to the drawing board.
"It is a setback," said talkative wideout Roy Williams. "I think we came out a little flat. I don't think we were into this ballgame. I don't know if that's because it was San Francisco instead of Atlanta."
Gore looked unstoppable before leaving the game with a second-half concussion, something that concerned Marinelli. On his 61-yard touchdown on San Francisco's first drive, he broke three tackles and bounced off Dre Bly's half-hearted attempt at a shoulder block.
"We had people in position on that play, but we didn't execute -- one guy overran the play and one guy under-ran it," Marinelli said. "Tackling is a concern. You have to be good tacklers to win in this league."
Later, Stanley Wilson dropped an easy interception that would have gone for a long touchdown return.
"There's no excuse," he said. "I have to make that play to help our team win."
On offense, the team will be working on blitz pick-ups this week, after Kitna was sacked twice by untouched blitzers. The second, early in the second half, resulted in a fumble that led to a 49ers field goal.
"I never saw the guy," said Kitna, who was blindsided by Shawntae Spencer on the play.
Kitna's fumble was one of four turnovers by the Lions. Kevin Jones and Roy Williams both lost fumbles, while Kitna threw a game-killing interception on Detroit's final drive.
"We're just not mature enough as a football team," Kitna said. "We give ourselves no room for error. We can't take plays off and we can't take downs off. We need to do what we are coached to do, and I don't think we did that today."
Marinelli is going to make sure they remember to do it Sunday in Arizona.
"We're going to come back on Monday and go right back to the fundamentals,"
he said. "The players we have here are good enough to win. We just have to
execute our system."