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TIM AND MIKE: Week 3 observations

Run game, final drive: On the winning drive, the Lions had the ball for 12 snaps. They ran 10 plays, and there were two penalties. Running back Adrian Peterson carried the ball four times on first down. He gained only nine yards, but the running plays took time off the clock, leaving the Cardinals with no chance to come back after Matt Prater made the winning field goal as time expired. – Mike O'Hara

Marvin Jones Jr., final drive: He was targeted only three times, and one of those was in the first half. But as usual, he remained ready when needed and caught two passes for a pair of 20-yard gains in the final drive. He fits the definition of a pro. – Mike O'Hara

James getting involved: It was good to see veteran tight end Jesse James get involved in the offense Sunday. After not being targeted in Detroit's first two contests, James was targeted four times and caught three passes, including a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford in the second quarter. – Tim Twentyman

Red zone efficiency: Detroit got the win on Sunday, but one area where there's an opportunity for immediate improvement is in the red zone. The Lions scored a touchdown on two of their five possessions inside the red zone. For the year, Detroit's scored a touchdown on six of their 13 trips into the red zone. Their red zone efficiency rate of 46.2 percent ranks 27th – Tim Twentyman

Running back committee: Playing time apparently will be based on opponents and game situations. For example, in Week 2 vs. the Packers, rookie D'Andre Swift had 20 snaps to 10 for Kerryon Johnson and 15 for Peterson. Vs. the Cardinals Sunday with an emphasis on running, it was 40 snaps for Peterson, 20 for Johnson and six for Swift. – Mike O'Hara

Linebacker committee: Playing time apparently will be based on opponents and game situations here, too. Linebacker Jarrad Davis played only 15 snaps (23 percent) on defense Sunday. It's the most reduced role he's seen in his time in Detroit, when healthy. He played 63 percent of the snaps last week in Green Bay and 54 percent Week 1 vs. Chicago. Second-year linebacker Jahlani Tavai played 89 percent of the snaps Sunday vs. the Cardinals. – Tim Twentyman

Zone vs. man: It was expected that the Lions would play a little more zone defense Sunday than they usually do against the likes of Kyler Murray and Co. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Lions played zone 44.4 percent of the time Sunday, compared to 17.9 percent Week 1 and 18.2 percent Week 2. – Tim Twentyman

Room for improvement: Halapoulivaati Vaitai missed Detroit's first two games because of a foot injury and was pressed into playing right guard Sunday instead of his customary right tackle so Detroit could play Tyrell Crosby at tackle and go with their top five offensive linemen. Vaitai certainly looked at times like he was playing his first game in nine months. He allowed two sacks and was called for a holding penalty that wiped out a touchdown on the final drive, though on further review the holding call was suspect. For the game, he was credited with allowing three total pressures. I expect Vaitai to play better as he gets back into the flow – Tim Twentyman

Okudah encore: Rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah has gone up against two of the best offenses in the league and two of the top receivers in the game his first two starts in Davante Adams and D'Andre Hopkins. The improvement from last week to this week was tangible for the Lions' first-round draft pick. He allowed five receptions for 79 yards, per Pro Football focus statistics, and had his first career interception he returned into Cardinals territory that led to a Prater field goal. It's good to see steady improvement from the rookie. – Tim Twentyman

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