10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: Will the run game get going this week?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: The Chiefs' run defense has struggled so far this year. They're allowing 137.7 yards per game on the ground, but the big stat to me is the 6.2 yards per attempt, which is nearly a whole yard more than the next team on the list.

If you're running back Kerryon Johnson you have to like the fact that running backs Leonard Fournette (5.1), Mark Ingram (6.4) and Josh Jacobs (8.3) have all averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry when playing against the Chiefs this year.

20man: It's been a slow start for Detroit's run game, no doubt. Detroit is averaging 98.7 yards per game (18th) and just 3.4 yards per attempt (26th). It's not for a lack of trying, either. Detroit's 88 rushing attempts are the ninth most in the league.

Watching the film from last week's game in Philadelphia, and it was similar to the tape from the first two weeks, the problem the Lions are having in the run game is that all 11 players haven't been on the same page.

It's not a systematic thing from what I see, it's usually just one player not doing his job. Last week it was a lineman or a tight end or a receiver or the fullback missing a block that messed up the play. A lot of times it was just one guy, but it wrecked the whole play.

There were some opportunities for big plays had a block been held a second longer or a better block been made. Detroit's offense looks close to hitting on a few of these runs, and like I mentioned above, maybe this is the week we see a few of them.

20man: Heading into this weekend's matchup, I think back to last year when the Lions put a terrific defensive game plan together to completely shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense. It was the same Patriots offense that out-dueled Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game and won the Super Bowl last year.

Also last year, Detroit basically wrote the blueprint on how to play defense against the Rams, and the Patriots used it to beat them in the Super Bowl.

Maybe Matt Patricia, Paul Pasqualoni and Co. can come up with another good game plan against a really good opponent Sunday.

20man: It was a good sign he was out at practice this week, even in limited fashion. Hamstrings can be finicky, and it didn't look good last week when Darius Slay didn't return to the game.

He did a little bit Wednesday, a little more Thursday and we'll see where he ends up Friday afternoon on the injury report in terms of his game status. I'm guessing questionable with a chance to play.

If the Lions don't have Slay, it obviously changes things. He's the one guy out there that can run with Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman and his 4.33 speed. Maybe the Lions play a little bit more zone without Slay?

Cornerback Mike Ford stepped in last week and played pretty well. He has experience in this defense, but it's always going to affect a defense when you take a Pro Bowl player off the field, especially against an offense as explosive as Kansas City's.

20man: Mahomes has a 137.0 passer rating and a 73 percent completion percentage with eight touchdowns and no interceptions when given a clean pocket this season.

Mahomes has a 127.3 passer rating and a 67 percent completion percentage with two touchdowns and no interceptions when pressured.

That's pretty amazing. Pressure or no pressure, Mahomes is getting it done.

Some systems are just really good at getting the ball out of the quarterbacks' hands and into the hands of playmakers in space. Kansas City's system might be the best in the NFL at it.

Bringing pressure means one-on-one matchups against the speed they have at the skill positions. That's playing with fire.

Let Mahomes sit in the pocket, and he can pick defenses apart.

Looking at this matchup, this is where all the resources the Lions have put into the defensive line can pay off for them. If Detroit can pressure Mahomes with four and have seven to defend against their skill weapons, that seems like the best recipe for success against Kansas City.

20man: This a week-to-week business. When a player goes out and catches six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in his debut, guess what? He shows up on the scouting report the next week.

Hockenson still has had some opportunities to make plays the last two weeks.

The Lions have had four 100-yard pass catchers the first four weeks, so they're getting a lot of production from a lot of different spots. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is going through his progressions and finding the open man. They've also seen some Cover 3 early this year, and the open spots against that are on the outside and deep seams.

I think there will be some opportunities for Hockenson against the Chiefs' defense, and it will be up to him to take advantage.

20man: I read in the Kansas City Star that this was Mahomes' first game as a professional in a dome stadium.

I don't think indoors vs. outdoors matters to a quarterback unless weather is a factor.

I've never once heard a quarterback complain about playing indoors in 70-degree temperatures with no precipitation.

The noise is a little bit different in a dome vs. playing outside, so there's that, but it's not like Mahomes has never played in a dome. He did so in college.

I think it's just one of those interesting facts that doesn't mean much once game time rolls around.

20man: Good observation. Both have been playing well.

Pro Football Focus has Coleman graded as the sixth best cornerback in the NFL after three weeks. He's been tough in the slot, and quarterbacks are completing just over 50 percent of the passes thrown his way.

Melvin checks in at No. 28 on PFF's list of cornerbacks. Quarterbacks are completing just 47.6 percent of the passes thrown his way and have just a 79.3 passer rating when targeting him. He also hasn't given up a touchdown yet this season.

I think both additions have been good. We'll see what the numbers look like at the end of the season, but both Melvin and Coleman have played well to begin the year. When it's all said and done, Melvin could earn himself another contract.

20man: Since the Lions hired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and he installed his scheme, I haven't seen Agnew take any reps on offense in practice.

With speedsters like running backs Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic on the roster, I don't think Agnew is part of any plans on offense at this point.

20man: They've gotten it in spurts, like late last week in Philadelphia, but it hasn't been consistent enough, especially given the resources dedicated to that unit and the talent on that unit.

Defensive end Trey Flowers is starting to get into form. He played well last week and got his first sack. I like how linebacker Devon Kennard has rushed at times.

I think this team has really missed defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand and the pass rush he provides from the interior. Defensive tackles Damon Harrison Sr. and A'Shawn Robinson are more run stuffers than pass rushers. Hand's absence due to an elbow injury has affected Detroit's defensive line maybe more than they thought, especially because defensive tackle Mike Daniels got off to a slow start and is now dealing with a foot injury.

Getting Flowers rolling and getting Hand back at some point should help the Lions' pass rush.

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