On Monday the NFL informed the Detroit Lions and Ndamukong Suh that the 4 time Pro Bowl defensive tackle would be suspended from Sunday's wild card playoff game versus the Dallas Cowboys.
Then, on Tuesday the NFL's appeals officer Ted Cottrell overturned the one game suspension, choosing instead to fine Suh $70,000 for stepping on the leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in week 17.
Suh is now eligible to play Sunday against the Cowboys.
Ndamukong Suh StatsNdamukong Suh has been cleared to play on Sunday in the wild card playoff game vs. the Cowboys.
Ndamukong Suh has clearly been one of the best defensive players in the league this year as he has totaled 8.5 sacks (2nd best in his career) and 53 tackles (2nd best in his career). Suh also has 12 quarterback hits and 37 quarterback pressures.
Suh's 8.5 sacks rank him tied for 4th in the NFL among defensive tackles. His 53 tackles ranks him 3rd among interior defensive linemen, including nose tackles and defensive tackles.
According to Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse, through 15 games Detroit had allowed only 63.8 rushing yards per game, which would have been the 6th lowest total all time.
In week 17 though the Green Bay Packers and Eddie Lacy proved that the Lions run defense was beatable by rushing 26 times for 152 yards. Lacy was the first player all season to rush for over 100 yards on the Lions.
The Detroit Lions defense still finished 1st versus the run, giving up only 69.3 yards rushing per game, with an average of 3.2 yards per carry.
Dallas Cowboys Run GameDeMarco Murray and the Cowboys run game need to show up big on Sunday for the Cowboys to have a chance to beat the Detroit Lions.
As much as the Detroit Lions have leaned on their great run defense, the Dallas Cowboys have leaned on their great run offense to help them win 12 games and the NFC East Division title.
The Dallas Cowboys record was 10-2 this season when DeMarco Murray rushed for over 100 yards. When Murray did not rush for 100 yards the Cowboys' record was 2-2. So, this game may very well be decided by which team wins the battle of the trenches.
Just as Green Bay did last week in their 30-20 win over the Lions, the Cowboys must remain patient with the running game and be prepared to run the ball 25 times or more. They must control the clock like they did versus the Seattle Seahawks to keep the explosive Lion offense on the bench.
The Lions have the 12th best passing offense in the NFL and the Cowboys rank 26th in pass defense. The Cowboys must find a way to slow down the passing attack of the Lions.
The best way to slow down that passing attack is to keep them on the bench by controlling the time of possession.
The Cowboys rank 1st in time of possession per game at 32:51. Against the Seattle Seahawks they kept the ball for 37:39. They will need another great game like that to come out victorious.
Turnovers will also be key in this game just as they are every Sunday.
Usually it is the team that makes the least bad plays that wins, not the team with the most big plays. Detroit has a +7 turnover margin and the Cowboys have a +6 turnover margin.
In my opinion the game will be that close and it will be determined by which team makes the least bad plays.