The New England Patriots and Detroit Lions are set to square off for Week 3 of the preseason on Thursday, and the third preseason game is usually when we see the starters receive the most playing time of any preseason game. That means the Pats will be facing star defensive tackle duo Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley for a solid amount of snaps, and it will be interesting to see how the interior of the offensive line fares out. We’ll see if Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly are healthy and able to resume their position battle for starting right guard duties, because this will be a great test for them. I also want to see how Ryan Wendell has improved his pass protection, because that was his only weakness last season as a first-year starter.
Left guard Logan Mankins took the time to praise the Detroit Lions dynamic duo at the heart of the defense, as well as the defensive line as a whole, “That’s the strength of their team, I think personally, their defensive line. They have good tackles and good ends. They put a lot of pressure on you in the run game and pass game.
“Suh is probably one of the strongest tackles you’re going to find in the league and very athletic for his size also. They’re good at what they do and they’re always a handful for whoever they’re playing.”
The good news is that while the Detroit Lions have always had an excellent defensive line, their secondary continues to be a weakness. However, it is better than it was last year, as the Lions were able to add a quality starting safety in Glover Quin and added CB Ron Bartell. The Lions also re-signed Chris Houston, who is a very good corner, and their secondary might have been in shambles if they didn’t re-sign Houston or adequately replace him. The Lions secondary has potential and shouldn’t just be written off as “bad”, because there is talent there (we’ll see if Louis Delmas can stay healthy).
Here’s what Tom Brady said about the Lions defense and the DT duo, “Well, they’re all very good. I mean, they’ve got [Nick] Fairley and Suh [who] are as good as anybody in the league. They’re tough, physical, hard-nosed, they play for 60 minutes. We’ve had preseason games against them. We played against them on Thanksgiving a few years ago. Talk about talent, they’ve got all the talent in the world, so it’ll be a good test for us.”
Suh’s comments and respect for Brady can be viewed in this piece.