Lions proved to be the only ones to get in Suh’s way
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter September 29, 2013 8:16PM
Updated: September 30, 2013 7:30PM
DETROIT — Ndamukong Suh had broadsided Jay Cutler, popping the ball loose onto the ground and into Nick Fairley’s arms.
Fairley had done the rest, running four yards for a touchdown to put the Detroit Lions up 21 points over the Bears as the third quarter wound down Sunday.
Suh and Fairley figured they’d celebrate.
On the Lions sideline, they jumped toward each other, trying a flying chest bump.
They collided — and Suh tumbled to the ground.
‘‘I think I am the only guy that brought him down this year so far,” Fairley said.
The Bears certainly didn’t.
Suh finished with two sacks and two more quarterback hurries, plus the forced fumble.
‘‘He’s a grown man,’’ said Kyle Long, the Bears’ rookie right guard.
Long called the two-time Pro Bowler ‘‘one of the best players in the NFL.’’ Suh showed it Sunday, despite the Bears’ double-team attempts.
‘‘We have to be on the same page,’’ center Roberto Garza said of double-teams with Long. ‘‘We have to be able to help each other out in different situations. It’s part of the learning process. Obviously we have to do a better job. We can’t let those guys get in there and get in [Jay Cutler’s] face.’’
Suh transcended the box score.
In the third quarter, the Bears converted a 27-yard pass on third-and-8. It was called back, though, when Long was whistled for putting his hands to Suh’s face.
On the next play, facing third-and-18, Cutler threw an interception to safety Louis Delmas.
‘‘I can’t believe we didn’t get about a hundred holding penalties against them,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.
‘‘Every single play in this game there was some sort of holding,’’ he said. ‘‘The great players learn how to play through it.’’
Fairley said the Nebraska alum had ‘‘a little more motivation’’ in facing Long, who the Bears drafted specifically to counteract him.
Suh said he ‘‘didn’t have any thoughts’’ on Long’s play, nor did he worry about whether ‘‘people see me as dirty, or they see me as a great player.’’
Both Cutler and Bears coach Marc Trestman said they thought Long did fine — though Trestman said he’d need to watch the game film to be sure.
‘‘I thought Jay had sufficient time to throw the ball,’’ he said.
Given that the Bears threw 32 times in the second half — ‘‘The game was one-dimensional,’’ Schwartz said — it could have been worse.
‘‘Once the game becomes lopsided, those guys can kind of pin their ears back,’’ left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. ‘‘As awkward of a situation as it is to be in — to be down and having to pass every single play — I think as a line, as a unit, as an offense, we just continued to fight.’’
Long, who said he didn’t yap with Suh, said the Lions pass-rushed well when they had little reason to expect a run.
‘‘All those guys, they make a living on rushing the quarterback,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re relentless. They’re big. They’re physical guys.’’
Even when knocking Suh down on a chest bump.
‘‘He blamed it on my belly,’’ Fairley said.