Lions-Vikings matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Sept. 24, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.
Posted By Art Edelstein

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday’s Week Three battle between the Vikings and Lions.

Lions DT Ndamukong Suh vs. Vikings offensive line

The early returns on Suh have been very strong, and his eight-tackle, one-sack game in Week Two showed that he's not just occupying blockers and clearing lanes for others. Suh can whip single blockers and has a knack for following the ball. The Lions' coaches love his effort and his pursuit and think they have a future All-Pro on their hands, even if they haven't come out and said it yet.

If there's a knock against him, it would be nitpicking to this point, but he does get a bit overaggressive at times and will take himself out of plays. But these are technique issues, and for the most part he's a load. He typically lines up at left tackle in the team's base defense but also has kicked out to end in some alignments. Suh has the quickness to be a sub-package end and has the strength to match up, horn to horn, against big right tackles.

The Vikings' blocking has been up and down to this point. ORG Anthony Herrera and C John Sullivan, the two men Suh likely will knock helmets with the most on Sunday, are not blue-chip starters and have played well in the run game but below par in terms of pass blocking. Herrera is strong enough to tame Suh, but Sullivan struggles with mass and power and could be at a disadvantage in single matchups. Also, Sullivan has admitted that his stamina is not where it needs to be, having missed most of the preseason with a calf injury.