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TIM AND MIKE: Week 2 observations

Run defense: Over the first two games of the season, the Lions are allowing on average 179.5 rushing yards per game on defense, which ranks last in the NFL by more than 25 yards per game than the next team (Oakland, 154.0). The Jets and 49ers have combined to average 5.6 yards per rush. The Lions are the only team which has allowed more than two runs of 40+ yards on the season. It’s hard to win games with run defense stats like these. – Tim Twentyman

Schedule watching: Looking ahead, the three games facing the Lions before the bye might not be as tough as expected based on performance so far. It starts Sunday night at Ford Field against the Patriots, who are 1-1 and have been outscored by a 51-47 margin. Next is a road game against the Cowboys – also 1-1 and outscored 29-28. Then it’s another home game vs. the 1-0-1 Packers, who needed a 21-3 rally in the opener to beat the Bears by a point, then gave up 22 fourth-quarter points Sunday in a tie to the Vikings. -- Mike O’Hara

Right call – Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs was upset after the game with his holding penalty that negated Tracy Walker’s late interception. The penalty turned out to be one of the factors leading to the Lions failing to finish off their comeback bid. After going back and watching the play, Diggs got his left arm up around the right shoulder of 49ers tight end George Kittle, and it looked like a call the official has to make. It was certainly unfortunate because it was on the other side of the field and negated a terrific play by the rookie Walker. – Tim Twentyman

Tight-fisted: The Lions’ offense has been stingy when it comes to getting the ball to tight ends, but they maximized their chances Sunday. Luke Willson’s only catch gained 13 yards and a first down in the third quarter. Michael Roberts’ only catch was a fine 15-yard grab in the end zone for a touchdown that brought the Lions to within 30-27 – the final margin. -- Mike O’Hara.

Improved effort: Credit Detroit’s offensive line Sunday for playing pretty darn well minus one of its best players, right guard T.J. Lang, who missed the game with a back injury. Detroit allowed just two sacks, both more due to coverage, and opened holes in the run game to the tune of a 5.4 average yards per rush. That was a good San Francisco front, and Detroit’s offensive line more than held their own. – Tim Twentyman

Golden rolling sevens: Golden Tate had seven catches for the second straight game. His seven catches against the 49ers gained 109 yards, with a catch and run that went for 67 yards. In the opener against the Jets he had seven catches for 79 yards, with a long reception of 26 yards. Not bad for a man who turned 30 on Aug. 2 and is still spry. -- Mike O’Hara.

Lopsided third quarters: The third quarter has been a rough 15 minutes of football in the Lions’ first two contests. They were outscored 31-7 in the quarter by the Jets in Week 1 and 14-3 Sunday against the 49ers. Detroit’s been outscored 45-10 in the third in their first two games. – Tim Twentyman

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