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O'HARA: What we learned from Week 6

D’Andre Swift can run inside, outside and leap over the top.

And he also can catch the ball – a skill the Detroit Lions' rookie running back has demonstrated since a fateful dropped pass in the opening game of the season.

We learned about all those facets of Swift's game in the Detroit Lions' 34-16 road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.

Among the other things we learned is that there is a place in the wide-open, pass-first offenses of this era for teams to win games by winning the battle in the trenches, as the Lions did Sunday; that the Lions had to patch together their offensive line on the fly to win that battle; and indications that linebacker Reggie Ragland was in line for a bigger role proved accurate.

We start with Swift, a man for all circumstances:

On his first play of the game, and the Lions' second possession late in the first quarter, Swift ran through a hole on the right side of the line and broke free for a 54-yard gain to the Jaguars' 21-yard line.

Later in the possession, Swift carried on three straight plays from first and goal at the four. He leaped over the top of a pile of Lions blockers and Jaguars defenders for a touchdown and a 14-3 lead for the Lions.

There was more to come for Swift on a day when he would finish with 116 yards on 14 carries and catch three passes for seven yards.

That gave Swift four TDs for the season – three rushing, one receiving – and sparked the obvious question of whether Swift would be rewarded with more carries because of his performance.

And the answer from head coach Matt Patricia after Sunday's game was just as obvious.

"We've got a great running back room," Patricia said, referring to Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. "I love all those guys. If we could hand the ball off all three times at the same time, that would be great."

While we await the three-handoff formation, it's likely that Swift is in line for more carries. He had 12 in the first four games, with a high of five in Game 2 vs. the Packers and none the next week in a win over the Cardinals.

Production gets playing time. We've learned that from Patricia, and every head coach before him.

Ground game: Most fans like watching games with wide open attacks, but nobody appreciates a strong running game more than the quarterbacks.

Matthew Stafford, who has seldom worked behind a consistently good running game in his 12 seasons with the Lions, liked having an up-close view of the Lions shredding the Jaguars for 180 yards on the ground.

It started up front, with a strong game from the offensive line that had to make adjustments on the fly when right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and right tackle Tyrell Crosby went out of the game because of dehydration.

"A lot of moving parts during the week last week," Stafford said. "And obviously on game day. They overcame it all and kept the line of scrimmage in favor of us, which was awesome. It really helped us out today."

One place it helped was in pass protection. Stafford was not sacked.

Line dance: The Lions took advantage of a new roster rule this year that allows teams to have an extra player active on game day, as long as it's an offensive lineman. That meant having eight offensive linemen active instead of the usual seven. All eight played.

Offensive line coach Hank Fraley and his assistant, Billy Yates, made plans for adjustments during the practice week because of an injury that made center Frank Ragnow questionable.

Vaitai and Crosby both were limited to 25 snaps. With both out, more adjustments were needed on the fly on game day.

"We play a lot of guys in practice, especially on Wednesday when guys are in pads," Patricia said Monday. "It transferred over into the game."

Ragnow and left tackle Taylor Decker were the only starters who played all 77 snaps. Rookie guard Jonah Jackson was next on the snap count with 59. Tackle Matt Nelson and guard Oday Aboushi each played 56 snaps, and guard Joe Dahl had 34.

Reading signs: Indications that Ragland was ascending on the depth chart proved accurate.

Ragland played 37 of the 64 defensive snaps, second most among the five linebackers used on defense to 59 by Jamie Collins Sr. Jahlani Tavai played 24, Christian Jones 22 and Jarrad Davis 11.

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