TIM & MIKE

TIM AND MIKE: Week 10 observations

Posted Nov 13, 2017

Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara share their observations from the Lions' 38-24 victory over the Browns.

QB Change: Sometimes it can give a team a spark, but that was not the case for the Browns when they had to go to backup Cody Kessler for part of the second half after starter DeShone Kizer went out with a rib injury. Kessler played seven snaps, and the offense had a net of minus 11 yards. He was sacked three times, completed one of three passes for five yards, and the Browns had a run for four yards. That gave the Lions a chance to take command. – Mike O’Hara

Coming on strong: The Lions appear to really have something to work with in second-year defensive end Anthony Zettel. He registered his sixth sack of the season in Sunday’s win over Cleveland, and had at least five pressures in a game for the third time this season. Through nine games, he has 30 pressures, which is right about where Kerry Hyder Jr. was at this point last year (32). The former sixth-round pick continues to progress at a very nice pace. – Tim Twentyman

Red Zone, scoring zone: The running backs led the way in a turnaround from the problems the offense had recently scoring on series that started inside the 20. The Lions were 2-for-2 Sunday. Ameer Abdullah scored the Lions’ first touchdown on an eight-yard run. Theo Riddick scored on an eight-yard reception in the third quarter. Both TDs tied the game – 10-10 on Abdullah’s score, and 24-24 on Riddick’s. – Mike O’Hara

Bad challenge: Lions head coach Jim Caldwell admitted after the game he “did a very poor job” trying to challenge the spot on a 4th and 1 play late in the first quarter where the Browns converted at their own 44-yard line on a run. The replay clearly showed that running back Duke Johnson Jr.’s knee wasn’t down as he stretched the ball across the first-down marker. The officials actually gave him a bad spot. It shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Caldwell wouldn’t go into any details after the game as to why he challenged the play, but that’s a situation where he either has to get better info coming from upstairs or wait until he sees a really good replay. That one was pretty obvious by the replay that he got the first down. – Tim Twentyman

Fast work: The Lions didn’t need a lot of time to drive to two of their last three TDs. It took four plays and 1:31 to go 75 yards in the possession that ended in Riddick’s TD catch. It took three plays and 49 seconds to go 44 yards to the game’s final TD – a 40-yard catch and run by Golden Tate. – Mike O’Hara

Lions blitz: Detroit isn’t a heavy blitzing football team, but when they do decide to come, they have some players in the secondary that do it well, and bring the thunder with them. Safety Tavon Wilson has recorded a sack in each of his last two games coming on a blitz. He’s a sure tackler, and has a knack for it. Nickel cornerback Quandre Diggs can deliver a blow with the best of them. His blitz and big hit on Kizer knocked Kizer out of the game for seven key plays in the third and fourth quarter, which ended up being a big development in the game.  – Tim Twentyman

Decker debut: It was obvious left tackle Taylor Decker was a little rusty in his first game action since last year’s playoff loss in Seattle. Decker played 36 of the team’s 52 offensive snaps. He gave up one quarterback hit and three hurries, but no sacks. Not bad for his first live reps in nearly a year. He’ll continue to settle in, and get back into the swing of things. – Tim Twentyman