The Lions are 3-1 entering Sunday's game at Washington -- after winning only three games all of last season -- but they are still working out the kinks in their offense.
The Lions entered Sunday's game as the NFL's top passing team and 29th-ranked rushing team. They were last in rushing last season. They were expected to pass early and often against a Chicago defense missing its entire starting secondary.
But the Lions tried to establish the run, and a funny thing happened: The people who were questioning why the Lions couldn't or wouldn't run the ball questioned why they weren't throwing it.
Quarterback Jon Kitna's answer?
"The injuries to their secondary is not going to affect their pass defense," Kitna said. "Their pass defense is all based on that front four. As long as those front four are healthy, you're going to have trouble."
The Lions have wanted to run the ball more, but they also have been having pass protection problems -- nine sacks last week, six sacks this week -- and needed to keep the Bears' pass rush at bay.
"You want to establish it," coach Rod Marinelli said. "You've got to slow the rusher down a little bit and make him dig in a little bit. We work on it, and we work on it. Sometimes it doesn't look like we do. But we do. ... Where it really showed up for us was that last drive of the game."
With a 24-20 lead in the fourth quarter, the Lions ate up 5:14 with an eight-play, 62-yard scoring drive. They ran five times for 26 yards and a touchdown.
"We're going to be a good running football team," Kitna said. "I think we proved that today. But the fact is, we are a pass-first offense. Point blank, it's who we are. It's what we do best."