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TIM AND MIKE: Week 13 observations

JRM steps up: Veteran linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin led the Lions with four special teams tackles Sunday in the win over the Saints, but his impact was felt beyond that. With Alex Anzalone out with a hand injury, Reeves-Maybin also played a role on defense (20 snaps) and finished with two tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass defended. Just another example of a player stepping up when called upon. – Tim Twentyman

Cleared for takeoff: Not sure what the most impressive part of wide receiver Jameson Williams' TD run was. The acceleration when he turned the corner? The dive into the end zone? Or the celebration? – Mike O'Hara

Rookie impact: Running back Jahmyr Gibbs totaled eight rushes for 60 yards (7.5 avg.) to produce 50-or-more scrimmage yards for the 10th straight game to start his career.

Linebacker Jack Campbell had eight tackles and two tackles for loss.

Tight end Sam LaPorta caught all nine of his targets for 140 yards and a touchdown. He's the first tight end in NFL history to produce at least 60 receptions, 600 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns through the first 12 career games.

Defensive back Brian Branch logged seven tackles and an interception that set up a touchdown. This rookie class has been so productive and impactful. – Tim Twentyman

Sure hands: In his last three games, LaPorta has been targeted 22 times with 17 receptions. That speaks to his reliability. – Mike O'Hara

Lions faithful: Lions fans have traveled so well all year. They were out in force again at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans Sunday.

"How can you not? It was noticeable, and that's our job to change it," Saints head coach Dennis Allen said after the game of all the blue in the stadium. – Tim Twentyman

Linebacker tracker: With Anzalone out, Derrick Barnes and rookie Jack Campbell led the position's workload. Barnes had a team-high nine tackles – three solos, six assists. Campbell had eight tackles – four solo, four assists. Campbell had two tackles for loss. Barnes had one. – Mike O'Hara

Stepping up: The Saints' defense made a concerted effort to try and take Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown out of the game. That was obviously the plan with the way they devoted coverage to him and bracketed the third-year receiver. Allen said as much after the game.

That's why LaPorta's performance was so important. Take away St. Brown. OK. The Lions proved Sunday they have other weapons that can beat their one-on-one matchups and impact the game. – Tim Twentyman

Offensive consistency: Through the first 12 games of any season, the Lions have the third most total net yards (4,807), fifth most points (327) and are tied for the fifth most touchdowns (40) in franchise history. – Tim Twentyman

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