There's no question that the Detroit Lions have enough talent on both sides of the ball to be a real threat in the NFC North, but often, they present the biggest threat to themselves. Over the last few seasons, Jim Schwartz's football team has been well-known for dumb penalties and strange personal fouls, and it was more of the same in the first half of the Lions' 2013 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
With 14:09 left in the second quarter, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder threw a pick to Detroit outside linebacker DeAndre Levy, who appeared to take it to the house for a touchdown. However, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh -- who has spent his entire NFL career playing on that fine line between clever and stupid -- negated the score when he put a clearly illegal block on Minnesota center John Sullivan. On Monday morning, NFL spokesman Randall Liu confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that Suh may face league discipline for the block. (Watch the full play below.)
It's not as if Suh was unaware of the league's increased focus on blocks below the knee -- the NFL made it a point of focus in the offseason, and made it illegal for cut blocks in the tackle box.
Suh's "block" seemed especially gratuitous and nonsensical because Levy was gaining steam down the right sideline, and Sullivan -- like most centers -- isn't known for his downfield speed.
"I wasn't by any means going for his knees, and he knows that," Suh said after the game. "We had a great convo about it at halftime, and he understood."
Because of the penalty, the Lions still maintained possession, but at the Vikings' 39-yard line, and for only one play -- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a pick on the very next down. The Lions went on to win 34-24, but the potential of further discipline for Suh definitely dampens the enthusiasm in Detroit.
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