Earlier this week, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley had some cocky words for a reporter. No he didn’t guarantee a trip to the Super Bowl again, this time Fairley had something to say that was more believable.
Fairley announced that he is part of the best defensive tackle duo in the league. When asked if Fairley and defensive tackle partner Ndamukong Suh were the best duo in the NFL he offered this, “Of course. We’re going to give guys trouble, man. It’s like pick your poison this year with our defensive line. You cannot come in and double-team Ndamukong and you can’t come in and double-team me.”
Despite both players being in the league less than five years, Fairley is right and if all goes well will have a chance to prove it. After spending part of the 2011 season on injured reserve, Fairley showed flashes of brilliance that earned him a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Fairley finished the 2012 season with 5.5 sacks, 34 tackles and two forced fumbles in 13 games, including seven games started.
While Fairley’s 5.5 sacks ranked fourth amongst NFL defensive tackles, teammate Suh ranked second at his respective position in 2012. During the 2012 season, Suh posted eight sacks and 35 tackles in 16 games played. Only Cincinnati Bengal Geno Atkins had more sacks for defensive tackles.
NFL.com recently agreed with Fairley’s quote, as the website picked the duo as the best DT pair. Fairley is right on paper and hopefully can back it up with a strong performance in the 2013 season. Both Fairley and Suh were first round picks by the Lions. The team will be relying heavily on the duo to strengthen the team’s defense.