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TIM AND MIKE: Week 4 observations

Hockenson, catching on: Tight end T.J. Hockenson made a big splash last year in his rookie debut with six catches for 131 yards and a TD. In the next three games he had only five catches for 35 yards and a TD. He's been steadily productive this year. He had five catches for 54 yards and a TD in the opener and followed it with 10 catches for 124 yards and a TD over his next three. He had two catches for nine yards and his second TD Sunday. Hockenson also caught a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. – Mike O'Hara

Defensive woes: The Lions' defense is really struggling to find its footing through four games. The Lions have allowed 127 points in four games, which averages out to 31.8 per game, ranking 29th in the NFL. They're allowing 170.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks 30th. Detroit also has the third worst team coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. No offense is consistently good enough to overcome those kinds of deficiencies on defense. What needs the most addressing during the bye week? The numbers tell the story. – Tim Twentyman

Short stuff: The Lions had only two "splash plays" that gained 20 yards or more. Both were completions by quarterback Matthew Stafford – 50 yards to Danny Amendola in the first quarter and 31 to Jesse James in the second quarter. The two caches made up 81 of his 206 passing yards. – Mike O'Hara

Body language: Stafford spoke after the game, like he always does, but it felt a little bit different to me on Sunday. Stafford seemed more dejected by the loss than I can remember. It's been a tough start to the season from a team perspective, but Stafford hasn't really picked up where he left off last season, either. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but Stafford seemed especially disappointed by the collective performance all the way around Sunday. – Tim Twentyman

Run stat: The Lions rushed for 90 yards without a touchdown in last week's win over the Cardinals. They rushed for 90 yards and a TD (by Adrian Peterson) in Sunday's loss to the Saints. – Mike O'Hara

Third down: It's the most important down in football. It keeps drives alive on offense and gets opposing offenses off the field on defense. New Orleans converted on 10-of-14 (71 percent) third downs Sunday, a big reason why they won the time of possession battle 36:46 to 23:14. Detroit wasn't bad offensively on third down Sunday, converting on half of theirs (7-of-14). For the year, Detroit's offense ranks 17th in third down conversion percentage (42.59 percent). Detroit's defense ranks 22nd (46.81). – Tim Twentyman

Top 3: The top three graded Lions defenders by PFF through the first quarter of the season (players who've played in all four games) are: Defensive end Trey Flowers, linebacker Reggie Ragland and safety Duron Harmon. On offense: Tackle Taylor Decker, wide receiver Marvin Hall and center Frank Ragnow. The players that rank in the top 10 in the NFL among their positions groups are: Ragnow (4th), fullback Jason Cabinda (6th) and Decker (9th). – Tim Twentyman

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