Ragnow arguably Lions' best lineman over the last four games

Detroit Lions Frank Ragnow (77) during the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers.Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter: "We're excited about the future with Frank."

--The Lions have not ranked in the top half of the NFL in rushing since Barry Sanders' final season with the team in 1998, but six games into this year they rank 11th in the league at 122.3 rushing yards per game.

Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson has rightly received much of the credit for the Lions' resurgence, but another rookie, left guard Frank Ragnow, has played a big role in the turnaround, too.

Ragnow has been arguably the Lions' best lineman over the last four games, and in last week's 248-yard rushing performance against the Miami Dolphins, he made the key block to spring Johnson on a 71-yard run.

"That offensive line group as a unit, as a collective, is doing a really nice job of working together, getting each other better and improving together," offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. "I would say Frank is right there in that. Frank's a young guy getting better each week. Still has some things to clean up and he knows that. He'll keep working to get better. We're encouraged with the direction he's heading ... and we're excited about the future with Frank."

--Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is running far less this year than he has in past seasons - he has just 17 carries for 62 yards through six games - but Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said his team still has to be wary of the problems Wilson causes with his legs.

"I think you have to pay attention to it and I think you have to go in there on every down and you have to defend Russell Wilson's ability to run the ball," Pasqualoni said. "The plays are designed that way, so whether he hands it off or keeps it is really not the issue. You have to be in position to play him because at a critical moment in the game, he may pull it and run. So you certainly cannot fall asleep on him."

The Lions have not allowed a quarterback run of longer than six yards this year, though they haven't faced a quarterback quite as mobile as Wilson in their first six games.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6.4 - Kerryon Johnson is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, second highest in the NFL among qualified players behind only Matt Breida of the San Francisco 49ers. Johnson ran for a career-high 158 yards on just 19 carries in last week's win over the Dolphins.

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