One of the key matchups for Lions this weekend will be in the trenches. They’re coming off a game in which the Detroit Lions defensive line abused the Chicago Bears’ offensive line, totaling 11 quarterback hits. For some reason, the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t seem to keep a healthy offensive line together from year to year.
This season is no different, already losing starting center Maurkice Pouncy to a season ending knee injury. At points this year they’ve had several members of their offensive line go down with injuries, and this week they may be without starting left guard Ramon Foster. According Rant Sports, the Steelers have already trotted out four different offensive line combinations, making it five if Foster can’t go on Sunday. Pro Football Focus has the Steelers as their 26th best unit in pass blocking efficiency, giving up 128 total pressure on the season.
Let’s bring the Detroit Lions defensive line back into focus. Last week against the Bears they ranked 4th in The MMQB’s Team Pressure Points Rankings, with 36.8% pressure rate. Both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley made their top 10 interior rushers for week 10, totaling 4 quarterback hurries and 6 quarterback hits. And that doesn’t even factor in Willie Young, who added 5 hurries and 2 hits of his own.
The truth is, I don’t think the Steelers are going to have an answer for what the Lions bring to the table with their defensive line. They are coming of a dominant game and “dirty duo” will be looking to cash in on some of the sacks that they’ve been missing so for this season.