O'HARA: What we learned from Week 11

D'Andre Swift is what we thought he is.

That's what we learned from his performance in the Detroit Lions' loss to the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

Swift is an elite talent. He might be an elite running back. What we saw Sunday is that he is trending toward the status of elite running back.

Among the other things we learned Sunday include the following: Playing on Thanksgiving Day, as the Lions will Thursday against the Chicago Bears, is still a big deal for players; the limits in how the Lions can run their offense is obvious in their stats; and the unit the Lions thought would be their best is just that -- their best.

We start with Swift: In the last two weeks -- and with flashes before that -- Swift has played like an elite back. He had 33 carries for 130 yards against the Steelers two weeks ago.

On Sunday against the Browns, he backed that up with 14 carries for 136 yards. On one of those carries, he broke through a crack in the Browns' defense for a 57-yard TD run.

Earlier in the season he had a 63-yard catch and run for a TD against the Rams.

One big game doesn't qualify a player as elite. Neither does two. But Swift's performance in back-to-back games produced 266 yards rushing to give him 555 for the season.

Adding 53 receptions for 420 yards gives you a back who has piled up 975 yards from scrimmage.

"This kid is pretty dynamic," head coach Dan Campbell said after Sunday's game.

Like we thought he would be.

Thanksgiving Day: A national TV audience will see the Lions-Bears game, and it will be the only game on at that time.

Despite their 0-9-1 record, it's a big game for the Lions with a national TV audience watching.

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye is looking forward to the game, as are his teammates.

"You know how big Thanksgiving is in Detroit," he said. "We're going to come ready to play."

The defense is not focusing on the offense's problems.

"We've got our hands full enough on defense to worry about what they're doing," he said.

Short stuff: It was football's version of "Pass by numbers" for Tim Boyle in his first start at QB, and there weren't many numbers.

T.J. Hockenson (51), Amon-Ra St. Brown (18) and Brock Wright (12) combined to catch 11 passes for a net gain of 81 yards.

Two running backs had four catches for minus four yards. Swift had three catches for a net of zero yards. Godwin Igwebuike had one catch for a four-yard loss.

The question is whether the wraps will come off Thursday for whoever plays quarterback.

Offensive line: It was projected to be the Lions' best unit before injuries hit, and it has played like that lately.

The Browns were held without a sack. Myles Garrett had their only two quarterback hits.

There should be a repeat performance against a Bears' defense depleted by injuries.

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