TIM AND MIKE: Week 11 observations

Difference maker: What a difference Damon Harrison is making for the Detroit Lions' defense upfront against the run. The Lions held Carolina to 56 rushing yards Sunday, the Panthers' lowest total of the season. Detroit held Chicago to 54 yards on the ground last week. Minus a 70-yard run by Dalvin Cook, that was run away from Harrison, the Vikings gained 58 yards on their other 22 carries. The Lions were one of the worst teams in the league against the run before he got here. Since his arrival, they’ve been one of the best. – Tim Twentyman

Taylor made TD: It was no contest when tackle Taylor Decker blocked Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson on Kerryon Johnson’s eight-yard TD run in the first quarter. Decker blocked Jackson at the three, letting Johnson cut inside to the end zone. The receivers also did a good job of blocking on this play. “I was just trying to run fast so I can get on TV,” Decker joked after the game. “Hopefully, I looked fast.” – Mike O’Hara

Area to improve: Missed tackles and loose coverage plagued Detroit’s secondary vs. Carolina, especially from the cornerback position. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton completed 18-of-26 passes for 277 yards and two scores just throwing against Lions corners Sunday. That’s a passer rating of 142.6. – Tim Twentyman

Leg work: While another kicker had a bad day against the Lions – Graham Gano missed an extra point and a field goal – Matt Prater continued to split the uprights, connecting from 54 and 32 yards on field goals and making both extra points. He’s 21-for-21 on extra points this year and 19-for-22 on field goals. Since missing twice in the opener against the Jets, Prater is 18-19 on field goals. – Mike O’Hara

Feeling good: It’s looking like Pro Bowl defensive end Ziggy Ansah is feeling better and better each week he’s been back. Ansah played 25 snaps vs. Carolina, the most he’s played since his return from a shoulder injury. He recorded a sack, two tackles, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. Over the last three games – playing only 52 snaps – Ansah has four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits. He’s making an impact. – Tim Twentyman

Head over heels sack: Middle linebacker Jarrad Davis had a big sack on third down that became even more important when Gano’s 34-yard field goal attempt on the next play hit the upright. Davis celebrated his fourth sack of the season with a somersault. He did it in style, all one motion – sack and somersault without stopping. Quite a display of athleticism. – Mike O’Hara

Beating pressure: Matthew Stafford was protected very well Sunday. He was sacked and hit just one time. He was pressured a total of just 10 times in the game, and completed 6-of-10 passes for 64 yards and the touchdown to Kenny Golladay for a 112.1 passer rating while being pressured. The offensive line was pretty good against the Panthers, but so was Stafford. – Tim Twentyman

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