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TIM AND MIKE: Week 5 observations

Early decision: The Lions were pretty successful on fourth down (8-of-12) heading into Sunday's game against the Patriots, and head coach Dan Campbell is an aggressive coach, but I didn't like the decision to go for the 4th and 1 at the Lions' 45-yard line on the first possession of the game. New England was starting a rookie third-string quarterback in Bailey Zappe. Detroit has a weapon in punter Jack Fox. Punt the ball, pin the Patriots deep and make Zappe drive the field. Instead, the Lions got stuffed on 4th down and gave Zappe a short field to record points – a field goal in this case – giving Zappe some confidence and the lead. – Tim Twentyman

Different week: Things change fast for players in the NFL, and tight end T.J. Hockenson's last two games is a prime example. In Week 4 against Seattle he had 12 targets, eight catches for 179 yards and two TDs, plus a catch for a two-point conversion. A week later he had four targets and one catch for six yards against the Patriots. Go figure. – Mike O'Hara

Philly special: Detroit's 44-6 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles last season in Week 8 was a wakeup call for this team. After that trouncing, they played much better football the second half of the season. As Campbell said after Sunday's 29-0 loss in New England, he feels the loss was a rock bottom moment for the team this season, much like the Philly loss was last season. Will the Lions respond similarly? – Tim Twentyman

Shutout losses: The Lions were averaging 35 points per game after four games. Being shut out knocked their average down to 28 points.– Mike O'Hara

Rookie growing pains: There aren't many rookie pass rushers who come into this league and tear it up immediately. Tackles at this level are just too good and too consistent. There's typically a learning curve that has to take place, and Lions No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson is finding that out the hard way.

Hutchinson had a great half against Washington when he recorded 3.0 sacks, six tackles, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits. In the other 250 minutes of football he's played this season, he's notched zero sacks, just eight tackles, no tackles for loss and only three quarterback hits. Detroit's pass rush overall had no sacks, no quarterback hits and just two pressures all day Sunday against the Patriots. – Tim Twentyman

Opportunity knocks: Safety DeShon Elliott lost his starting job, but he produced in a big way when he went in because of an injury. He led the Lions with 12 tackles and three tackles for loss, plus an interception. Players play when they get the chance. – Mike O'Hara

Showing out: The Lions were without running back D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder) for a second straight week Sunday. Swift is one of Detroit's top offensive weapons, especially in the passing game out of the backfield. That's not Jamaal Williams' forte, but Craig Reynolds showed Sunday it can be his. He caught three passes for 68 yards, including a 36-yard catch and run. It's good to know Reynolds can play that role in the passing game from the running back position and be productive. Reynolds was Detroit's highest graded offensive player Sunday by Pro Football Focus. – Tim Twentyman

Pressure: Lions quarterback Jared Goff was 16-of-21 passing for 194 yards and an interception when kept clean and not pressured Sunday against New England. Under pressure he was just 3-of-14 for 35 yards. My big takeaway from that is the Lions have to keep their quarterback clean. – Tim Twentyman

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