Monday, September 26, 2011

Why the Detroit Lions Jeff Backus deserves better

Lions left offensive tackle Jeff Backus didn't play well Sunday against the Vikings. He looked confused the first half, which I pointed out in my blog update at halftime.
Late in the second half, he had two false start penalties deep in Lions' territory, and was beaten for a sack by Jared Allen. It could have been a disaster. It wasn't. The Lions won to go to 3-0, but Backus has become a source of consternation for fans again.
And I am going to defend him, despite what was obviously a decidedly subpar performance Sunday.
It's because Backus never, ever gets credit when he plays well - like the first two games against Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Tamba Hali of the Chiefs had 14.5 sacks last season. He has two this season. He had none against the Lions. Stafford wasn't sacked in the opener at Tampa Bay, either.
Last season, Backus did well in his matchups with Allen - and other sack specialists. The Lions were in the bottom fourth in sacks allowed in the NFL. Yet, all many people remember is that he was beaten on a play Stafford got hurt by the Bears' Julius Peppers. And Backus getting beaten by Peppers was just one of many things that broke down on that particular play.
Backus has played his best football the last two seasons, drawing praise from head coach Jim Schwartz, who made it point his first year because he seemed to understand how inequitable Lions' fans have treated Backus.
Backus has never missed a game, despite injuries that would put other players out. He has not made excuses for the Lions' poor play down through the years. He is a standup guy. He has never been a malcontent in the midst of an environment that has often been maddening.
He is one of the Lions' most valuable players. If he weren't able to play, there would be a huge void at his position - and accounting for it would be a major problem that would not be easily solved.
Also, they left Backus out on an island with Allen. They do it all the time with Backus against top defensive ends, and usually he delivers. He didn't Sunday. A double-team was called for, and it took the Lions too long to adjust. But all the times Backus has performed well in those situations, it's rarely pointed out by fans.
What I don't understand about this is he is a Michigan kid. Played on terrific teams for the Wolverines. Protected Tom Brady and other QBs very well there.
I think he deserves better in this town. Nobody is saying he is the second coming of Anthony Munoz, but Backus is a good player. And doesn't deserve the constant scapegoat treatment he receives.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, Pat. The lack of appreciation for the job Backus has done over the years and especially the last two or so, is further proof that most Lions fans don't have a clue when it comes to football. They want the flashy, big name guys as opposed to someone who just does the job day in and day out.
The guy had a bad game. Everyone does. Let's see what he does next week against Demarcus Ware. Yeah, that sounds easy after Jared Allen, doesn't it?

12:55 PM 
Blogger rick snares said...

The guy busts his rear, so Allen got some sacks, if you have ever been in that God forsaken stadium it gets louder than you can imagine, a crappy place to play. Let's see next week against Dallas, by the way last time I looked Stafford was doing pretty well. Let up on the guy, in this day and age of the whinney star, see Mike ( why am I always on the ground} Vick, Number 76 has performed and acted with a great amount of class.......

8:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Backus isn't a great player, but he is a good, solid player, who only takes blame, but never gets credit. Something wrong about that.

12:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rick Snares,
Well, where all the critics when he did well last year against Allen?

12:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redskins Williams handled Ware pretty well last night. I didn't notice double teaming. Romo was hardly touched all night.

A Vet like Backus should be expected to get the job done. Williams is a rookie isn't he?

They need some type of run threat or whoever the Qback is will be damaged goods at some point. What type of job have these linemen done blocking? All I here being discussed is protection.


4:54 PM 

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