Fairley told detroitlions.com in a story that ran Thursday morning that he and Suh make up the best defensive tackle tandem in the NFL.
"Of course," he said. "We're going to give guys trouble, man. It's like pick your poison this year with our defensive line. You cannot come in and double-team Ndamukong and you can't come in and double-team me.
Fairley (5.5) and Suh (8) combined for the second-most sacks of any defensive tackle tandem in the league last season with 13.5. Only Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins and Domata Peko had more (14.5), but Atkins accounted for 12.5 of those.
Fairley was strictly talking about a duo, and it’s hard to argue that he and Suh aren’t the best interior pass-rushing duo in the league.
NFL.com ranked their top five defensive tackle tandems in the league right now and agreed that Fairley and Suh top the list.
Fairley finished last season with 34 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 13 games His 5.5 sacks were fifth best among defensive tackles.
Suh finish with 35 tackles and 8.5 sacks, second most among defensive tackles behind Atkins.
The pair didn't have as many tackles as some other tandems, but in the Lions' scheme, Suh and Fairley are asked to get up field, get after the quarterback and collapse the pocket. The linebackers clean up the rest.
It wasn’t so much a cocky statement coming from Fairley as it was a confident one. That’s not such a bad thing coming from a player who the Lions need to step up this season and be a dominant 16-game performer.
We’ve seen enough of Suh to know know what he is capable of. Fairley, on the other hand, has shown flashes. If he can put it all together and Suh has a season like he did in 2010 or 2012, they could be special.