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TIM AND MIKE: Week 16 observations

Short passing game: Quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with a back injury, he’s missing skill weapons and he faced a very good defensive front in Minnesota Sunday. Still, Detroit’s offense has to find a way to push the ball down the field more as 21 of Stafford’s 31 aimed passes vs. the Vikings were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage or behind it. Eight passes were thrown behind the line of scrimmage. Stafford completed seven of those for a total of 15 yards. He was 0-for-5 throwing 20-plus yards and 2-for 5 (for 28 yards) throwing 10-19 yards down the field. That’s not a recipe for success in the passing game. – Tim Twentyman

Snap decision: Rookie left guard Frank Ragnow went out for one snap against the Vikings, leaving him tied with center Graham Glasgow for the most offensive snaps played of any Lion. Both have played 1,001 of 1,002 snaps for the season. Glasgow missed one snap earlier in the season. They will remain tied if all goes well in the final game against Green Bay. – Mike O’Hara

Tale of two halves: Wide receiver Kenny Golladay made some tough, contested catches in the first half against a good Vikings secondary and recorded five catches for 57 yards on 10 targets at halftime. He caught just one pass in the second half for a single yard on five targets. Golladay is the best weapon the Lions have in the passing game right now, and opponents know it. He faced Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes for a lot of the game. This continues to be good experience for Golladay, and it should accelerate his development in the long run. – Tim Twentyman

Glover’s impact: Most of safety Glover Quin’s teammates are aware that Sunday’s game might have been his last at Ford Field. Retirement is a serious consideration. The respect for Quin was apparent in the way linebacker Jarrad Davis spoke of him after the game, saying: “He showed me a lot. He showed a lot of teammates a lot – not only on being a great football player but being a great man.” – Mike O’Hara

North shuffle at top: A different team will finish first in the NFC North for the fifth straight season, as follows: 2014, Packers; 2015, Vikings; 2016, Packers; 2017, Vikings; 2018, Bears. No team has come from a deeper hole than the Bears to win the North. They had four straight seasons of last-place finishes with double-digit losses: 5-11, 6-10, 3-13 and 5-11 from 2014-17. – Mike O’Hara

Looking to draft: The Lions currently hold the No. 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft with their 5-10 record. Detroit can potentially move as far up to No. 2 depending on what happens Monday night and in Week 17 around the NFL. – Tim Twentyman

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