Detroit's defensive line is playing well. While their record might only be 2-5, the Lions are playing competitive football on most weeks, which has not happened in a while. The work of that defensive line deserves a lot of credit. Ndamukong Suh, rookie defensive tackle from Nebraska is the straw that stirs their drink so to speak.
Suh is a player who reminds me a lot of Kris Jenkins. He has a rare blend of size, athleticism, power, and strength. He has been a next to impossible matchup for offensive linemen this year. His 27 tackles and 6.5 sacks to this point belie how well he is playing. Peter King commented recently the rookie deserves consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.
Suh has been dominant, forcing double teams to contain him. Nose tackle Corey Williams does not flash the same ability to penetrate, but he has also been playing well. Jets fans lament how the loss of Jenkins cost Gang Green the chance to force an offensive line to block two nose tackles on each play. The Lions have something close to that, which has taken the focus off guys like Kyle Vanden Bosch and created favorable matchups for him. Vanden Bosch has more sacks this year in seven games than he did last year in sixteen. He looked washed up for the Titans last season. While he is playing better to a large extent, life is easier with a pair of big guys constantly taking up a lot of blockers.
Detroit lines Suh up all over the place. In recent weeks, he has even gotten looks at defensive end. He should see the majority of his snaps lining up over right guard Brandon Moore, though. Over the past few years, Moore has worked hard to turn himself from unspectacular into one of the game's best kept secrets. It will be a great matchup.
The strength of the Jets' offensive line is the capabilty of all five guys to win matchups against the best the league has to offer without needing help. A guy like Suh usually either causes disruption or draws a double team, forcing a defense to use up a extra blocker, which means that second guy isn't blocking somebody else. A defender gets freed up in this numbers game. The Jets largely avoid this. This week's burden falls to Moore. The way he handles Suh could go a long way to determining whether this game is more difficult than the conventional wisdom dictates.