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TIM AND MIKE: Week 3 observations

Growing pains: Rookie running back Dwayne Washington has shown impressive potential in the first two games, but like a lot of young players he has things to learn. One of those is to know when to take what he can get and not try to do too much.

Washington had a carry on second and two near midfield Sunday. With the hole closed, he tried to bounce outside and was tackled for a two-yard loss. It would have been better to hit the hole and gain a yard, or even take no gain instead of a loss that made it third and four. The Lions wound up punting. – Mike O'Hara

Growing pains II: Second-year guard Laken Tomlinson hasn't gotten off to a great start in 2016. He's allowed a sack in each of the team's first two games, and wasn't much better as a run blocker Sunday vs. Tennessee. The 2015 first-round pick has been the weakest link on the Lions' offensive front through the first two weeks of the season. – Tim Twentyman

Position attrition: Injuries test a team's depth, and the test becomes more difficult when they pile up at one position. That was the case at linebacker Sunday when DeAndre Levy was unable to play. Antwione Williams and Kyle Van Noy also went out and did not return.

By the end of the game, starter Tahir Whitehead and backup Thurston Armbrister were the only true linebackers left. Brandon Copeland, who has experience at linebacker but began the season at defensive end, took some plays at linebacker. – *Mike O'Hara


'Quin' tessential interception: Safety Glover Quin had a prototypical Quin interception in the third quarter of Sunday's game. Playing the deep middle of the field, he was able to get all the way to the right sideline to intercept a deep Marcus Mariota pass intended for Rishard Matthews. Quin secured the ball and got two feet inbounds. We've seen that same interception over and over through his Lions career. He can cover a lot of ground. – Tim Twentyman

Sam's club: Punter Sam Martin has performed at an elite level in the first two games and he's done it with versatility. In Game 1 his power helped dictate field position. On four punts Martin had a gross average of 58.8 yards with a net of 55.5. In Game 2 it was control. He put all five punts inside the 20-yard line. In two games, opponents have four returns for 22 yards, an average of 5.5 yards per return. – Mike O'Hara

Valuable assist: Defensive end Devin Taylor gets the official credit for recording a first-quarter safety on Titans running back DeMarco Murray, but he got a major assist from defensive tackle Khyri Thornton on the play. Thornton pushed back right guard Chance Warmack so quickly and with such force that Murray had no choice but to stretch the run outside a little more and right into the arms of a waiting Taylor. – Tim Twentyman

At the pass: The defense has to cut off the opponent's passing game. Matthew Stafford has impressive stats for two games – 67.1-percent completion rate, four TDs, one interception – but opponents are doing even better. Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota have combined to complete 70 percent of their passes with six TDs, one interception and a passer rating of 112.7. Next up: Packers star Aaron Rodgers. – Mike O'Hara

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