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Detroit Lions Unsung Hero of the Week: Frank the tank paves the way for the run game

The Lions failed to run down the clock with a lead against the Bears Sunday. Nonetheless, they ran pretty damn well.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Lions failed to run down the clock with a lead against the Bears Sunday. Nonetheless, they ran pretty damn well. In what was somewhat of a surprise, veteran running back Adrian Peterson, who was signed just a week prior, had the bulk share of carries Sunday.

He started out his tenure as a Lion by ripping off a 14-yard run and kept going from there. He finished with 14 carries for 93 yards, a stellar mark and the closest the Lions have gotten to having a 100-yard rusher in a while. While Peterson got the recognition he deserved for that feat, it wasn’t all his doing.

Unsung hero of the week: Frank Ragnow, Center

Ragnow picked up right where he left off at the end of his stellar 2019 season. He graded out as the best offensive lineman for the Lions on Sunday, with an 80.0 PFF grade. That was good enough for second-best on the entire offense, only behind an 82.9 from Danny Amendola, who was another strong contender for unsung hero.

Ragnow continues to shine and defy the spite that came with the Lions selecting a first-round center. Peterson has always thrived on interior runs, which is on-brand with what Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn have envisioned for the Lions’ running game for years. That doesn’t happen without Frank Ragnow. Peterson’s 6.6 yards per carry yesterday, which I can say with confidence without actually checking is the highest by a Lions running back in a long time, doesn’t happen without Frank Ragnow.

Ragnow’s performance is especially crucial while flanked by longtime backup Joe Dahl and rookie Jonah Jackson, who are far from top-notch sidekicks. Continuing to have a presence in the run game, including one that can hopefully close out games with help from the defense in the future, starts with the big man up front.