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Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

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Reply to a Comment - 26AP11

Once in a while, a reader will comment and show some intelligence in the way he writes and what he has to say. If I see where he is not thinking right (in my own opinion of course), I will reply with why I disagree with him. (or her).

Tom wrote:
There's one reason and one reason alone why Backus looked good last year. The deep ball on that team was completely out of the question once Stafford went down(not once, but twice). It's really not hard to protect the QB when he's holding the ball for a second or 2 then throwing the ball 5 yards down the field. That was the offense last year.

We need a left tackle who can actually hold a block for a few seconds and allow Stafford and Johnson the time to set up the deep ball. No excuse for an offense to average less than 10 yards a completion.

And sorry, any argument claiming that an offensive line on a team that averaged less than 4 yards per carry by their running backs was good is null and void to me. Center is a huge need, and if they can take one of the top left tackles in the draft without reaching then they need to do that as well.

My Reply:
The first sack Stafford took was on a play that took time to develop and he held onto it too long. He showed no pocket awareness on that play and that has been stated in many articles by other writers as well.

You are right. There is absolutely no excuse for a team to average less than ten yards a pass. But the Lions did not have that shortage due to bad offensive line play. They were that bad because Shaun Hill was afraid to make a mistake and would not throw the ball deep. The Lions offense had a lot of plays that took time to develop but Shaun Hill refused to throw it more than seven yards. If Calvin had anyone near him down field, Hill would check down. The only plays Hill threw more than seven yards in the air were the scripted plays in the first two drives and when they were behind in the 4th quarter and he had no choice. When screen plays were not called, Hill held the ball for far too long because he was afraid to throw deep and get picked. I complained about this all last year. I paid specific attention to it.

Look at how many penalties Peterman and Raiola had for holding and illegal blocks. If the ball is thrown in less than two seconds, players will not have enough time to get so many holding calls. More often than not, holding penalties happen when a play goes on too long. Most of the missed blocks and sacks came from the right side of the line. Backus plays on the left side.

Before last year, I told people that if the Lions would fix the revolving door they had at left guard and give Backus a viable teammate, he would be much better. The Lions finally added Sims. With Sims at left guard, Backus looked very good except when he was beat by one of the best DE's in the NFL. In the first game. If that play never happened, people would have no ammunition against him now and they wouldn't care. He was beat on one play and Stafford got hurt. So fans want to blame him for everything. Let me tell you something.... There is NO lineman in the history of the NFL who wont get beat by the great sack artists once in a while.

The reason the running game was so bad was more of a combination of things than just offensive line play. There were several times I saw the line open up holes and they were filled before the RBs could get through. In these cases, if the the Lions would have used a blocking fullback, he would have been able to open that path for a good gain.

Hill's refusal to throw the ball down field was extremely detrimental to stopping the run. Defenses knew he would not throw the ball deep. They did not fear being beat deep because of that. So the defenses usually played in tight to cover the short routes better. With a defense in so tight, there is a lot less running room. Their safety and linebackers fill running lanes quicker.

Look at this simple fact. The only quarterback who was willing to throw down field was Stanton. He was very inaccurate but it didn't matter. He was willing! He also was willing to tuck the ball and run with it if they left him a lane. Not only when he was flushed out. These two things forced the safeties to play a step back to make sure he didn't beat them deep and the linebackers had to worry about him keeping the ball so they could not attack the RB. During the games that Stanton was the starting QB, the Lions RBs had their best games.

I don't mean to be rude here, but people need to stop using Backus as the scapegoat for Stafford's inability to take a hit. The Lions QBs took less hits per pass play than all but maybe two teams. The first hit Stafford took, separated his shoulder. The first one! I know people say it was a vicious hit, but honestly? I never thought it was. I have seen Harrington, Garcia, Batch and all the others take far worse without getting hurt. He came back and lasted what? One game? Got hurt again. Not even hit hard that time. He fell on it.

I am not meaning this to be taking shots at Stafford. As his body develops, his muscles will gain density and not stretch so much when put under pressure. Then he will stop dislocating his shoulder. Supposedly the surgery he had will do the same thing. He should now be a healthier and sturdier quarterback, but the injuries last year were not the line's fault. They were not anyone's fault.


I completely agree with the need at Center. In fact, I believe that a powerhouse Center is easily the most important position on the offensive line to get. I keep having images in my head of Ndamukong Suh playing fullback on 3rd & 1 and 4th & 1 in a game. Both times he hit a solid wall a yard short of the line of scrimmage. Until the Lions can get some push up the middle on short yardage plays, they will have too many drives stall out on them.

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