TIM AND MIKE: Week 12 observations

Helping the opponent: The Redskins needed help to beat the Lions, and the Lions gave it to them. Four turnovers were obvious plays, and so was a key penalty that wiped out a 25-yard run by Bo Scarbrough around the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Instead of first down at Washington’s 40 with a chance to add to their 16-13 lead, the Lions wound up punting the ball away. – Mike O’Hara

No. 2 tight end: Tight end Logan Thomas scored Detroit’s lone touchdown in Washington on a 12-yard pass from Jeff Driskel. It gives Thomas 11 catches for 120 yards and one touchdown on the year. Jesse James, signed this offseason as a free agent, has just nine receptions for 71 yards and hasn’t reached the end zone. Thomas is graded higher than James as a pass catcher, run blocker and pass blocker by Pro Football Focus. T.J. Hockenson is the clear No. 1 at the tight end position for Detroit, but is Thomas the second best tight end on the roster right now? – Tim Twentyman

J.D. – Just Do it: Something has clicked in for linebacker Jarrad Davis. He tied safety Tavon Wilson for the team lead with eight tackles and had a sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. – Mike O’Hara

Starting debut: Cornerback Amani Oruwariye made his first career start Monday and played in 75 percent of Detroit’s snaps on defense. He was thrown at five times and allowed three catches for 21 yards and recorded his first career interception. Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. had just a 30.0 passer rating when throwing Oruwariye’s way in the contest. Not a bad first start. – Tim Twentyman

Rookie report: Of the Lions’ nine draft picks, seven were active for the game. That’s the most for any game this season. Defensive end Austin Bryant (fourth round) and tight end Isaac Nauta (seventh) were active for the first time. Oruwariye played 45 of 60 snaps at cornerback and had five tackles, his first interception and two passes defensed. – Mike O’Hara

Run defense: Sunday’s 19-16 loss to the Redskins was hardly the fault of the defense. That unit did give up two late field goals that proved to be the difference on the scoreboard, but they held Washington out of the end zone, and overall played a solid game. It was the third straight time the Lions held an opponent under 100 yards rushing, which despite the losses, is a positive development on that side of the ball. Over the last three games they’ve held Chicago to 81 rushing yards, Dallas to 75 and Washington to 86. – Tim Twentyman

Penalty problem: Lions head coach Matt Patricia continues to talk about penalties being one of the biggest hindrances to this team. The Lions were flagged six more times Sunday for 65 yards, with a couple of those happening in crucial situations. It brings Detroit’s penalty total to 87 on the year, the fifth most in the NFL. Counting the penalties opponents have declined or that were offsetting between both teams, the Lions have been flagged 108 times this season. – Tim Twentyman

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