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TIM AND MIKE: Week 15 observations

Must-see TV: Ratings continue to grow. Sunday's game against the Bears hit highs for the year – an overall Nielsen rating of 32.6, and a peak of 37.2 for the last quarter hour, when the Lions drove to the winning TD. A ratings point in Metro Detroit represents 18,200 households. That means a little more than 677,000 households were tuned to the game at the peak. Based on the average of 2.5 people per Metro Detroit household, 1.69 people in Metro Detroit were watching at the peak. – *Mike O'Hara


No. 54 back in the fold: Linebacker DeAndre Levy returned to the field Sunday for the first time since Week 1. The Lions did a terrific job easing him back into action. It would have been foolish to throw him out there and expect him play significant snaps after playing in just two games the last two seasons. Levy played 18 snaps and made the most of those of those, recording four tackles. It was a good start for him, and we should expect to see his reps increase week to week. – Tim Twentyman

On the run: It's been a long time since the Lions have had the upper hand – and legs – in the running game, but that was the case Sunday. The Lions rushed for 114 yards and a 4.1-yard average. Their two long runs were 12 yards by Dwayne Washington and 13 by Zach Zenner. The Bears rushed for 92 yards and a 5.4-yard average. However, two of Bears RB Jordan Howard's 13 carries were for gains of 31 and 28 yards. The other 11 carries gained 27 yards. – Mike O'Hara

Glasgow performance: Going a whole NFL game without getting noticed is a pretty good sign an offensive lineman had himself a nice performance. That was the case Sunday for rookie Graham Glasgow, making his first NFL start at center for the injured Travis Swanson (concussion). He didn't allow a sack, quarterback hit or single pressure against Chicago. He was also good in the running game. The one time Glasgow's name was mentioned was a case of misidentification involving an illegal hands to the face penalty that should have been called on the defense and not him. Glasgow's turning out to be another fine looking rookie. – Tim Twentyman

Marvin movin' sticks: Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had four catches for 67 yards in his return after missing the Saints game with an injury. What doesn't show up in Jones' stats are the two long gains the Lions got on pass interference calls against the Bears on passes meant for Jones. The first flag gave the Lions 38 yards in the second quarter. The second one gave the Lions 23 yards in the fourth quarter. The four catches and two penalties resulted in 128 yards gained. – Mike O'Hara

Defensive minded: Don't look now, but Detroit's defense is ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL in points allowed per game (20.6). They're 11th against the run (97.7). The latter number is a big reason why the former is where it's at. Detroit's done a terrific job of stopping the run and making teams one dimensional over this stretch of seven straight where they've allowed just 20 points or less. They're stopping the run and tackling well. A terrific combo. – *Tim Twentyman


Line changes: After Sunday's game, rookie left tackle Taylor Decker is the only player on the offensive line who has started every game. Graham Glasgow moved from left guard to center to start in place of Travis Swanson, who was out with a concussion. Right tackle Riley Reiff and right guard Larry Warford have missed one game each because of injury or illness. Laken Tomlinson has started one game at right guard and six at left guard. – Mike O'Hara

Outdoor mentality: The Lions have lucked out in the scheduling department in that they've avoided any real cold-weather or inclement-weather games this season. Head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday that games involving rain/snow/cold can be a "fun part of the game." He's always said he wants the Lions to be an indoor team with an outdoor mentality. So, what is the long-range forecast for Sunday's game in New Jersey? 50 degrees with a 60 percent chance of rain and 12 mph winds. Not too bad for December 18 if that forecast holds up. – Tim Twentyman

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