Pittsburgh Steelers: Can offensive line handle Lions defensive front?

When the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday, there are many concerns with a Lions team that currently sits in first place in the NFC North Division.

At the top of that list is finding a way to control and limit the production of wide receiver Calvin Johnson, but don’t forget about the guys on the other side of the ball, most notably the Lions defensive line.

Sep 29, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) celebrates after scoring his first career touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions may possesses the best defensive tackle tandem in the NFL in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, and the pair could make life miserable for the Steelers offensive line and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger will be treading carefully on Sunday, as the Lions tandem is capable of making a game-changing play or two.

“Well, yeah, you’ve got to be careful,” he said. “You’ll end up dead if you’re not careful. This is a great D-line and defense. Yeah, well, I tell myself all the time to be alert for those things. But then, when the bullets are flying, who knows what’s going to happen?”

Big Ben made it clear that he didn’t want to be traded after last Sunday’s story broke. He may change that tune if Suh and Fairley have their way with him.

Suh and Fairley help anchor a Lions defensive front that ranks seventh in the league against the run. Things could be very tough for rookie Le’Veon Bell, which means we could see a lot of Roethlisberger throwing the football.

On paper that is a good thing against a Lions secondary that ranks only 27th in the NFL vs. the pass. However, knowing the problems the Steelers offensive line have had this season, it could turn out to be a bad thing.

If the Steelers don’t contain the Lions’ two young defensive tackles, you can bet it is going to be a long day for Roethlisberger.

If I’m the Steelers, my main concern going into Sunday is getting bodies on Nos. 90 and 98. If they don’t, they can forget about putting together a second consecutive win.

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Topics: Ben Roethlisberger, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Pittsburgh Steelers

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