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Lions-Washington Unsung Hero of the Week: Jonah Jackson paves way for the running game

Jackson has quietly excelled at left guard all season.

NFL: Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Patricia has successfully done one thing that he wanted to as head coach of the Detroit Lions and that is establishing the run. In Patricia’s third season, the Lions (for the first time in Matthew Stafford’s career) have a decent rushing offense to show for themselves, and it’s in no small part thanks to the new guy in town at left guard.

Unsung hero of the week: Jonah Jackson paves way for the running game

The offensive line has been a tale of two halves this year, and in the running game it shows. The right side has been a mess and unfruitful for the Lions’ running backs, while the left side has been the opposite. For rookie running back D’Andre Swift, that has been good news:

While the headline-grabber is always 100-yard rushing games, and Swift produced the first of those for the Lions in two years, the difference this time is that Swift is producing consistently. Swift has carried more than 10 times in three games this year, and those games have resulted in an average of 6.1 yards per carry.

It’s also very much worth crediting Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker here, both of whom have been fantastic in both passing and rushing situations as. Given the turmoil on the right side of the offensive line, it only felt right to recognize the rookie Jackson for stepping up and filling that left guard spot so admirably, especially after the controversy that surrounded taking a running back in the second round this year.