London Fletcher takes the field Sunday. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

For the first time this season, the Washington Redskins played a game in which they remained close at halftime. But they still found a way to lose Sunday to the Detroit Lions, dropping their record to 0-3. Linebacker London Fletcher said the near-miss performance represented a bit of progress but ultimately was unfulfilling.

“That definitely makes it more disappointing, frustrating because if you look at the way the ballgame went — Detroit, they did some good things but I think we really made too many mistakes for ourselves,” Fletcher said. “We really beat ourselves today as far as whether it was penalties or turnovers, whatever the case may be. We made too many mistakes to win a football game. That’s the frustrating part. But I guess that can be the encouraging part, too. We know what we’re capable of doing. We’ve just got to eliminate the mistakes.”

The Redskins, after being outscored by a 50-7 margin in the first halves of their previous two losses this season, trailed the Lions by only 17-14 at halftime Sunday. The appeared to take a fourth-quarter lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson. But that touchdown was overturned on an instant-replay review, which resulted in an incompletion being ruled. And the Redskins’ season came a bit closer to unraveling irretrievably.

“Any time you don’t win, it’s frustrating,” Fletcher said. “We’ve got to continue to try to get better. It was better today but it wasn’t good enough. Collectively we made too many mistakes to win the football game.”

The loss came as the conclusion to a week in which Fletcher addressed his teammates at midweek, attempting to bring about a turnaround. He confirmed Sunday that he’d made such a speech but declined to discuss the details of it.

“I’ll keep what I said inside the locker room,” Fletcher said. “That’s just how I go about it. It was really just [about] needing to play better.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● Mike Shanahan speaks with reporters Monday at 3 p.m.; Next week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders, plays later in the evening against Denver on Monday Night Football.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Redskins fall to 0-3 with 27-20 loss to Detroit Lions

D.C. Sports Bog: Redskins vs. Lions best and worst | More Redskins

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook