Lions All-Decade Defensive Tackles
I try to stay away from hyperbole as much as I can, but the very instant that Ndamukong Suh put on a Lions jersey, there was a new attitude in Detroit. He nearly beheaded Jake Delhomme in the preseason, and developed a (well-deserved) reputation for brutality from then on. This wasn’t always a positive thing, as the penalties, fines, suspensions, and almost-suspensions piled up. Cheap shots aside though, Suh was an absolute beast.
The stats will never quite tell the story of just how good Suh was, because he saw double and triple teams nearly every play for most of his five years in Detroit.
The highlight reel can’t really do him justice either, because so many of his most impressive plays were simply shoving numerous offensive linemen a yard or two back and completely disrupting any type of run play from happening.
Suh was an All-Pro three out of his five years as a Lion, and the only year he didn’t make the Pro Bowl was his suspension-shortened 2011 season.
Then we get to Nick Fairley. I don’t have particularly fond memories of Fairley, who I consider the Eric Ebron of the defensive side. Immensely talented, it seemed like a godsend when Fairley dropped to the Lions in the middle of the first round in 2011. Paired with Suh, this seemed like a recipe for the best defensive line in the NFL (and honestly, it sort of was for a bit).
Fairley’s two best seasons happened to coincide with two colossally disappointing years for the team, so we forget that he was actually an Associated Press All-Pro second team in 2012, and was statistically better the next year. Still, it didn’t seem like as much as he was capable of, and his double-arrest offseason in 2012 didn’t help his credibility much in my eyes.