The game within the game this week will be played at great heights along the line of scrimmage when the Miami Dolphins visit the Detroit Lions and guard Mike Pouncey faces defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Pro Bowl offensive lineman versus Pro Bowl defensive lineman.
“He’s a really good football player," Pouncey said Wednesday. "He plays really hard. He’s a Pro Bowl football player. We have to go out and play our best against him. He’s going to be the best defender we play against all year."
That is high praise from Pouncey. And Suh will be trying to live up to that billing by playing well, but also playing a lot of snaps.
The Lions, you see, are without tackle Nick Fairley, who is out with a knee injury, and had been without C.J. Mosley, who was sent home from London and suspended for two weeks. Mosley is back with the team.
That left the Lions with only three viable tackles against Atlanta. So Suh played. And played. And played, getting few series off.
“I’m built that way," Suh said. "I’m built to endure long drives. I’m endured to just go out there and play whatever snaps I need to play. I think I’ve, over the years, proven that I can maintain and take care of myself to where I can play whatever game, with whatever consequences or anything that comes across our way."
And Suh is good with that workload.
"I look at my rookie year and I don’t think I remember coming out of the game, so it is what it is," Suh said. "I don’t really look at it like that. I look at it as an opportunity to go out there and play, have an impact that much more and go from there."
Awesome. So how about we tackle the elephant in the room?
Suh, you see, has this reputation as something of a dirty player. Don't believe me. Let your eyes decide:
Anywho, It is fair to say most of those instances have not happened lately. But they have indeed happened.
So is Pouncey ready to defend himself or his quarterback if Suh get all extracurricular?
“No, we don’t worry about that," Pouncey said. "We are going to go out, play hard. We’re not worried about him playing dirty. We worry about him playing as hard as he can. We have to go out there and match his intensity."
Yeah, I get the feeling Pouncey will be matching intensity bigtime if Suh takes a cheap shot at Ryan Tannehill.