LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh realizes the offensive he faced in Week 1 is vastly different from the one he will face Sunday when his team hosts the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.
Since that outing, in which the Lions posted four sacks and six hits on quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears have gone through four combinations of starters up front, leading to improved production for the club’s offense.
Suh points to the return of right guard Roberto Garza, who started on the left side in the opener.
“The biggest thing I’ve noticed is Garza, who I’ll be going against, is back in pretty much his original position, where he played most in his career,” Suh said. “That’s definitely going to be a challenge, and one that I’m definitely up and excited for. They’ve switched around a couple of guys, but they’ve really only added one player, that being the right tackle (J’Marcus Webb). So it’s pretty much all the same guys, just in different positions.”
After starting the first five games at left guard, Garza underwent minor surgery on Oct. 15 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, which he suffered in the club’s victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 27. The injury kept Garza out of the lineup for two games, with him moving to right guard upon his Nov. 7 return.
“When they lost three of four (from Oct. 3 to Oct. 24), they were taking a lot of sacks,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “Since then they’re 4-0. I think they did a really good job of settling that down, and they’ve found some continuity.”
Suh also pointed to changes in Chicago’s play-calling as part of its recent success.
“It’s a better scheme,” Suh said. “They’ve allowed themselves to create a good running game, which has definitely helped them out with the pass. Them having a balanced attack, and really being able to run the ball and transition to pass to make big plays and play action and so forth [has helped].”
Suh’s eight sacks rank as the most by a Lions rookie since 1982, when sacks became an official statistic. The defensive tackle posted one sack against the Bears in Week 1, and he says he’s not surprised by his early success.
“I don’t expect to not come in and be a factor,” Suh said. “That was the biggest thing I wanted to be. I wanted to come out, and at least not be the weakest link, be able to learn, and help my team out.”