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TIM AND MIKE: Week 11 observations

Playoffs & top pick?: A win Thursday against Buffalo would go a long way in showing this Detroit Lions team is a serious playoff contender, but at the very least they are on the in the hunt graphic after Sunday's win in New York, their third straight victory.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Rams lost again Sunday. The Rams currently have the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which belongs to the Lions. Detroit's current pick is No. 13. – Tim Twentyman

Narrow margins: With the loss to the Lions, the Giants' won-loss record dropped to 7-3. They've scored 205 points and given up 204, for a points differential of one point. The Lions are minus 32, with 250 points scored and 282 given up. – Mike O'Hara

No. 1 back: There's no debating who the No. 1 running back in Detroit is. It's veteran Jamaal Williams, whose three touchdowns Sunday give him 12 on the season, which currently leads the NFL. Williams is dependable and reliable, and should finish the season as a 1,000-yard back with double-digit touchdowns. It could potentially earn Williams a contract extension this offseason. – Tim Twentyman

Weather report: The Lions have a 2-1 record in games played outdoors – Patriots, Bears and Giants – and 2-5 under the roof. – Mike O'Hara

Rookie of the year candidate: New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner is still the favorite, but Lions rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson is on his heels. Hutchinson has 31 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Talk about rookie impact. – Tim Twentyman

Obstructed views: Hutchinson's height (6-7) and long arms aren't an asset only for sacking the quarterback. He also can bother a quarterback's sight in trying to throw over him. You can see quarterbacks double pumping to get a better view, especially when they're rolling away from him. – Mike O'Hara

Cominsky comes up big: No Charles Harris. No Josh Paschal. The Lions needed John Cominsky to step up Sunday, and the veteran defensive lineman did just that. He got the start opposite Hutchinson in New York and recorded three tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a pass defended. He also blocked an extra point. The Lions missed him when he suffered a thumb injury Week 2. His tough, hard-nosed and productive style is perfect for this defense. – Tim Twentyman

O-line domination: The Lions rushed for 160 yards and four touchdowns vs. the Giants, and quarterback Jared Goff wasn't sacked at all. In fact, Goff was hit just twice all game, both allowed by Dan Skipper, who had to step in at right guard because of an injury to Evan Brown. This offensive line continues to play winning football. – Tim Twentyman

Beast in the middle: Second-year defensive lineman Alim McNeill had an incredible game Sunday. On top of his four tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and three quarterback hits, McNeill also led the Lions' defense with seven quarterback hurries. To put that in a little bit of perspective, Cominsky and Hutchinson had three apiece. – Tim Twentyman

Challenge coming: The Lions play the Buffalo Bills' No. 3 ranked passing attack Thursday. It's unlikely the Lions will have top cornerback Jeff Okudah (concussion protocol), which means Jerry Jacobs, Mike Hughes, Amani Oruwariye and Will Harris will have to step up. The Giants aren't known for being a great passing team, but quarterback Daniel Jones was 17-for-23 for 223 yards with no touchdowns when targeting those four cornerbacks Sunday. – Tim Twentyman

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