Stopping Suh big key for Bears today

Stopping Suh big key for Bears today

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is double teamed by Bears center Roberto Garza (63) and offensive guard Kyle Long (75) during a game last season.

    Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is double teamed by Bears center Roberto Garza (63) and offensive guard Kyle Long (75) during a game last season. Associated Press

  • Bears offensive guard Kyle Long will have his hands full against Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh today in Detroit.

    Bears offensive guard Kyle Long will have his hands full against Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh today in Detroit. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/26/2014 9:45 PM

There might not be a more interesting matchup in the Bears-Lions Thanksgiving Day opener than Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh vs. Bears guard Kyle Long.

In just his fifth season, the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Suh is already the Lions' all-time sack leader among tackles with 32 (in 73 games). He also leads all NFL tackles in sacks and tackles for loss on running plays (29½) since he entered the league in 2010.

 

"What's so disruptive is that he's a good athlete and he's extremely powerful," said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. "He's got strong hands, so when gets his hands on you, he extends his arms, and he'll shed you from your block.

"You think you have him stopped, and then the next second he's throwing you aside. You have all your weight down to try to stop him, and then he throws you aside and hits the quarterback. You have to get double-teams on him, (but) there's times you're 1-on-1 and you have to be as physical as he is."

The 6-foot-6, 313-pound Long has the best chance among Bears O-linemen to neutralize Suh. He made the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie and has started all 27 games since being drafted in the first round.

Coach Marc Trestman says Long will need to be at his best against Suh.

"(He'll need) everything," Trestman said. "His size, his strength, his athleticism, his physicality, his mental toughness -- it all comes into play when you play a player at that level. We've talked about it -- he's excited. He wants to play against people that can bring out the best in him, and he'll have that opportunity."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Getting defensive:

It might be too soon to say the Bears' defense has developed an identity after holding two straight sub-.500 teams to 13 points each in their games.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, however, says he has seen some positive signs.

"We just want to win games and play well in the various areas that allow you to hold people to low numbers," Tucker said. "Third-down (efficiency), stopping the run, red-zone defense, takeaways, things like that."

In the 2 victories, the Bears allowed 32.1 percent of third-down conversions, well below their season average of 41.2 percent. They've allowed an average of 81 rushing yards, 26 yards fewer than their average per game. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 40 percent of their red-zone opportunities after converting 52.4 percent against the Bears in the first nine games. The Bears forced 4 turnovers against the Bucs, tying their season high.

Moving target:

Early offensive dysfunction last week forced the Bears out of their plan to move quarterback Jay Cutler in the pocket with planned rollouts, a tactic that worked well a week earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cutler, though, expects to be on the move against Detroit's aggressive defensive line.

"You've got to move the pocket," Cutler said. "If you're throwing the ball 40-50 times from 6-7 yards deep, they're going to get home eventually. So we've got to run the ball, we've got to kick it out (with quick passes), we've got to move the pocket, we've got to play-action them, we've got to find ways to keep them off balance."

He gone:

Center-guard Brian de la Puente was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury and will miss the remainder of the season.

Michael Ola, who started the previous two games at right tackle, will move to left guard, and Jordan Mills, who missed the past two games with a rib injury, will be back in his usual spot, where he has started eight games this season and all 16 last year as a rookie.

Injury report:

The Bears were obligated to issue an injury report and list the status of injured players for Thursday, even though they didn't practice Wednesday.

WR Brandon Marshall (ankle), safety Brock Vereen (shoulder) offensive linemen Jordan Mills (ribs) and Eben Britton (illness) are all probable. CB Kyle Fuller (knee) would have been limited Wednesday and is questionable.

LBs Lance Briggs (groin) and Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) and WR Chris Williams (hamstring) would not have practiced and are out. Briggs is expected to be out for at least another couple weeks. DT Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) and DE Trevor Scott (knee) would not have practiced and are doubtful.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.