The Lions have four more chances to win a game and avoid the embarrassment of becoming the first NFL team to go 0-16.
"We need a win," center Andy McCollum said. "We got to get one. Like the coach said, we got a whole quarter of this season left, and we've just got to make sure nobody packs it in and make sure we get a victory out of this -- somewhere, somehow."
Their best chance might come Sunday against Minnesota. If they don't beat the Vikings, they'll have to win at Indianapolis, beat New Orleans or win at Green Bay. None of those games look good.
The Lions started 0-12 in 2001 too, and their 13th game was against Minnesota at home. They won, 27-24, and finished the season 2-14.
That Lions team was more competitive than this one, and the Lions are 1-13 in their last 14 games against the Vikings. But there are a few reasons to believe the Lions might -- might -- be able to beat Minnesota.
Their closest loss this season came Oct. 12 at the Metrodome. They lost, 12-10, largely holding star running back Adrian Peterson in check, even though he finished with 111 rushing yards.
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky ran out of the end zone for a safety early. Cornerback Leigh Bodden was called for a questionable pass-interference penalty late. If either of those things don't happen, the result might have been different.
Then there is the Daunte Culpepper factor. Culpepper has been pulled in three of his four starts since signing with the Lions. He has turned over the ball seven times. But he has a few extra days to prepare and said he will stay in town over the weekend to work. He should have plenty of motivation.
Culpepper spent his glory years with the Vikings from 1999-2005. After suffering a serious knee injury, he bounced from Miami to Oakland to Detroit.
"Well, we've got to play a whole lot better than we played today, obviously," Culpepper said, looking ahead to the Vikings after Thursday's 47-10 loss to Tennessee. "We've got a lot of time to prepare before our next game. We've got to prepare to win. If we prepare to win, I think we can."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Daunte has really been a jolt for us. (It's) not just that he's a talented guy. He can make plays, (but) he's got a tremendous way with the players in terms of leadership. It's really good -- I mean really good. He's, I think, helping us bring that offense together, which will also affect our defense." -- Coach Rod Marinelli.
- For the second time this season, a player openly disagrees with the Lions' decision to put him on injured reserve.
First, it was quarterback Jon Kitna, who went on IR with a back injury in October. Now it's wide receiver Mike Furrey, who went on IR with a concussion Monday.
"This is the way they want to go," Furrey said. "I'm 100 percent right now, and I'll be getting ready for next year next week."
The Lions released a statement in response. General manager Martin Mayhew said the Lions made the decision after Furrey continued to experience symptoms for three weeks.
"We made this move to protect Mike and to do what's best for this football team," Mayhew said.
Furrey suffered a concussion Nov. 9 against Jacksonville, and when he tried to work out afterward, he experienced symptoms like dizziness and nausea. He said he went through two practices and a walkthrough Tuesday, as the Lions went through a compressed schedule before playing Thursday against Tennessee. The injury report listed him as limited that day.
"I had a little bit of lightheadedness afterward, but who wouldn't after you hadn't run for two weeks?" Furrey said. "But they tried to shut me down from there."
The Lions ruled him out for the Thanksgiving game. Furrey said Mayhew told him injured reserve was a possibility then, but he came to Lions headquarters Monday expecting to practice because no one had told him anything was done. He said he walked into the receiver's room and saw Keary Colbert, whom the Lions just signed, then found Mayhew in the lunch room to get the news.
"I actually had to go confront it," Furrey said. "I went up to Martin and asked him what was going on. I was planning on going to practice today. I confronted him in the lunch room, and he said they were going to stick to the plan they had last week."
In the statement, Mayhew said: "I had a lengthy discussion with Mike last Wednesday to explain the thought process behind placing him on IR."