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TIM AND MIKE: Week 4 observations

Johnson emerging: The Lions ran only 50 plays in eight possessions in Sunday's loss at Dallas, 18 of those plays were designed run calls with rookie running back Kerryon Johnson getting only half of them (9), despite opening the game with a 32-yard burst on his first carry. Johnson was still going strong late in the game with an eight-yard touchdown and six-yard run on his final two carries. For the season, Johnson has carried the ball 38 times for 216 yards for a 5.7-yard average. LeGarrette Blount has carried the ball three fewer times (35) for 95 yards and a 2.7 average. – Tim Twentyman

Crowd at the bottom: It's been a strange start to the season in terms of the standings. The Lions are one of nine teams with 1-3 won-loss records. Five of them are in the AFC, and the Lions are one of four in the NFC. That means there's a chance to move up in a hurry. – Mike O'Hara

Terrible trend: The Lions have allowed at least 169 rushing yards in three of their four games this season. Opponents are averaging 157.8 yards per game on the ground. That ranks last in the NFL, by more than 16 yards per game over the next worst rushing defense in Arizona (141.2). It continues to be difficult to win games allowing opponents that much control on the ground. – Tim Twentyman

View team photographer Gavin Smith's best stylized photos from the Detroit Lions' Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Time management: There are good questions about whether the Lions took enough time off the clock in their fourth-quarter drive to a touchdown and a 24-23 lead. There's a good answer. They did. It was a six-play drive -- one run, followed by five passes. All five passes were complete, which means the clock never stopped after any play. The drive took 3:32 for the six plays. – Mike O'Hara

No slowing down for Tate: Veteran wide receiver Golden Tate, 30, is showing no signs of slowing down. He has 28 receptions for 389 yards and two scores in four games. At this pace, Tate would catch 112 passes for 1,556 yards and eight touchdowns this season. – Tim Twentyman

Kerryon, power surge: Johnson showed something new to go with his quickness and speed. He ran over a Cowboys' defender inside the five-yard line on his eight-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. That's a nice blend of skills – speed, elusiveness and power. – Mike O'Hara

Early opportunities: The Lions scored on half of their possessions Sunday. The problem was they only had eight of them. Detroit's first two possessions both traveled into Dallas territory, but led to punts. The four other times Detroit got into Dallas territory, they scored three touchdowns and kicked a field goal. Had they been able to make a few more plays early on in their first two possessions, maybe the tone of the game would have been a little different. – Tim Twentyman

Pass vs. run: Matthew Stafford completed all nine of his passes in the second half for 151 yards – an average of 16.78 yards per pass. The Lions averaged 2.2 yards per carry on their five runs in the second half. – Mike O'Hara

Details matter: Sometimes it's the little things that lead to bigger things. On a 3rd and 7 play for the Lions' defense with just over 10 minutes to play, Dak Prescott threw incomplete to Michael Gallup at the Dallas 47-yard line. It looked like an important stop at a crucial point in the game. But unfortunately it wasn't. Lions linebacker Eli Harold had lined up in the neutral zone giving the Cowboys another crack at a first down on 3rd and 2. They converted, and nine plays later kicked a field goal to go up 23-17. – Tim Twentyman

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