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O'HARA: What we learned from Week 15

Jared Goff played the way winning quarterbacks play Sunday in the Detroit Lions' 30-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

That was evident to everyone who saw the game or read the stats sheet: 21 completions in 26 attempts, 216 yards and three TDs without an interception or a fumble.

But we learned that what Goff said to his teammates in the locker room after the game and in his media interview showed that he understands the nuances and responsibilities that go with playing quarterback.

And we also learned Monday when Goff was put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list that no one is immune from the pandemic that has affected so many, regardless of their stature.

Among the other things we learned include the following: Players enjoy the wrinkles that are being added to the offensive game plan; outside linebacker Charles Harris was disciplined in treading the tight rope in rushing Cardinals QB Kyler Murray while not letting him escape the pocket and run wild; and the Lions' win didn't please everyone in what is a tired and predictable reaction.

We start with Goff: His stat sheet was as clean as it comes. He was in control of every phase of the offense from start to finish. That even meant making sure fullback Jason Cabinda got the ball to commemorate his first TD reception.

The locker room celebration was boisterous, but not to the level of two weeks earlier when the Lions had beaten the Vikings to give head coach Dan Campbell his first win.

After Campbell had finished talking to his players, Goff stepped in to break down the team.

"That's a team win right there," Goff told his teammates. "Why not win the next three?"

That would be a tall order, with the next two games on the road against the Falcons and Seahawks and the finale at home against the Packers. But it shows Goff isn't interested in just playing out the season.

More significant is what he did on the field near the end of the first half. Goff took a hit on the knee late in the first half and departed for one play, with the Lions holding a 10-0 lead.

He returned to a loud ovation and finished off the possession with a 22-yard TD pass to wide receiver Josh Reynolds. That boosted the Lions' lead to 17-0.

"You can't cant play quarterback in this league if you aren't going to fight through a little not injury, but pain.

"Especially for this team and this city. It's important to be that guy who hurts a little but will still be alright."

Offensive wrinkles: Rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had another productive day, with eight receptions for 90 yards. Seven of those catches gained 53 yards, or just under seven yards per catch.

The eighth catch was a 37-yard catch and run for a TD on a pattern that let St. Brown split two Cardinals defenders. St. Brown caught Goff's pass five yards behind them and ran untouched into the end zone.

The play was an example of some new plays that have been added to the playbook, St. Brown said.

"We love the creativity," St. Brown said. "And we love what's going on right now."

Rush job: Harris was in on both of the Lions' sacks Sunday, but he also was part of an overall team effort to keep Murray from hurting the Lions with his legs.

Murray ran four times for three yards.

"You've got to close the pocket," Harris said. "The guys up the middle, they've got pressure on him. It's hard to rush and contain him. We did the best we could."

Feeling the draft: There were some wails of anguish over the Lions' win because it might keep them from having the first pick overall in the 2022 draft.

The Jaguars are now in the first spot, with a record of 2-12, with the Lions sliding to No. 2 with a slightly better record of 2-11-1.

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