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TIM AND MIKE: Week 14 observations

Fan friendly: It seemed almost like a home game for the Lions by the way fans cheered the team on at Raymond James Stadium. A large contingent of fans showed up sporting Lions' blue, and it did not go unnoticed by the players. Ziggy Ansah tweeted out a picture of the fans, with this message: "Wow... how 'bout the fans tho!!" – Mike O'Hara

Two-game stretch: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been terrific throwing the football the last two weeks. He has completed 82.2% of his passes (60/73) over the last two weeks, which is best in the NFL. He is the first player in NFL history to complete 80.0-plus-percent of his passes with at least 29-plus attempts in back-to-back road games. – Tim Twentyman

Life in "dead zone:" The Lions' woes of scoring in the red zone – inside the opponent's 20-yard line – are over. The Lions scored touchdowns all three times they began a series of downs inside the 20, and it was a continuation of how they performed the previous week against the Ravens, when they also were 3-for-3. In the previous five games, the Lions were 5-for-11 in red-zone TDs. – Mike O'Hara

Penalties: The Lions were penalized eight times for 105 yards Sunday, which is bad enough. But six of those penalties came in plus territory, which is the Tampa Bay side of the 50-yard line. Those are penalties that kill drives and wipe away scoring chances. The Lions have to be better in the penalty department the next three weeks. – *Tim Twentyman


Marvin Jones Jr. "20 grand:" Pardon the reference to one of Detroit's great clubs of yesteryear, but by averaging 21.3 yards on three catches for 64 yards Sunday, Jones averaged more than 20 yards per catch for the third time the last four games, with three catches or more. He averaged 21.5 yards on four catches vs. the Bears, 22.5 on four catches vs. the Ravens and then Sunday's 21.3 average. He fell short only once in those four games – 18.2 yards on six catches vs. the Vikings. – Mike O'Hara

Slippery Tate: Golden Tate is so fun to watch with the ball in his hands. A couple times in the fourth quarter Sunday, Tate took short passes and made defenders miss for gains of 24 and 14 yards, respectively. The latter set up Matt Prater's 46-yard game-winning field goal. Tate is credited with making 20 defenders miss after the catch this season, which is seven more than the next highest receiver, per Pro Football Focus stats.  – Tim Twentyman

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