Ndamukong Suh’s name was nowhere on the defensive stat sheet following Sunday’s 31-14 win at Jacksonville. No hits, no tackles, no nothing.
Does that mean the Detroit Lions defensive tackle played a bad game? Not necessarily.
Is that odd especially for a defensive tackle who was the second overall pick? Let’s say, yes.
Among the other defensive tackles, Nick Fairley had three tackles, Sammie Hill had two and Corey Williams was credited with a quarterback hit. None of them were on the field as much as Suh.
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch had four tackles and Cliff Avril one. Lawrence Jackson had two tackles and a sack.
Coach Jim Schwartz was asked on Monday about Suh’s stat-less day and he answered by praising the defense as a whole.
“I thought those guys all played well. They were throwing the ball quick from a passing standpoint. We had two interceptions, had another one called back. We weren’t around the quarterback, but a lot of that had to do with them throwing it quick,’’ Schwartz said. “I mean, they had a hard time getting a first down. And we’ve said it a long time, if you want to negate a pass rush you certainly can do it, it’s just how many plays can you make down the field.’’
“... You know, we’re not judged by the stat sheet offensively or defensively. We’re just trying to do what we can to win the game, and I thought our defensive line did a good job. We didn’t play a whole lot of eight-man front in the game. I thought our defensive line and our linebackers played very well to limit their offense.”
Suh was on the field for 42 of the defensive snaps (68 percent) while Williams was in for 31 snaps, Fairley was in for 28 and Hill for 25.
Suh, who will make $10.25 million this season, had a dozen tackles and 3.5 sacks in the first seven games.
The stat sheet never tells the whole story, we all know that. Still Suh’s complete lack of stats on Sunday is a head-scratcher.