Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has taken some criticism for his play on the Colts’ game winning touchdown in Detroit on Sunday, but Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham says he doesn’t know where that criticism is coming from.
Asked about a story in which an anonymous Lions coach is quoted as saying that Suh got out of position on the play and allowed Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to step up in the pocket and complete his pass, Cunningham said that is not correct. Instead, Cunningham said, it was a coverage breakdown allowing Colts receiver Donnie Avery to get open in the middle of the field that deserves to be blamed.
“One guy fell down and the nickel did a poor job and never saw it,” Cunningham said. “It was a good coverage and we misplayed it, and what a time to misplay something.”
Cunningham’s claim that “it was a good coverage” may be self serving, but from my own look at the tape, I don’t think blaming Suh makes sense. Suh did his best to fight through the double team on the play, while none of his three fellow defensive linemen won their one-on-one battles, and the seven Lions who dropped into coverage left Avery open. (Cunningham wouldn’t name the nickel who did a poor job, but he must have been referring to Jacob Lacey.)
Cunningham also said he wasn’t crazy about hearing anonymous quotes.
“Boy, anonymous gets around, doesn’t he?” Cunningham said. “All I care about is Ndamukong and our football team and everybody’s good. The thing about it is this time of the year, all kinds of things are said and done and we’re trying to win a game and I know where his head is and mine and defensive players. We’ve got a job to do and that’s what we’re going to do.”
A lot of Lions haven’t done their jobs this season. But Suh’s performance against the Colts on Sunday was the least of the Lions’ problems.