Next man up. The Detroit Lions defensive line epitomized the phrase in their 24-13 victory on Monday Night Football for the entire nation to see.
The front-four of the Lions defense embarrassed the Chicago Bears offense from the opening series to the final smack-down laid by Ndamukong Suh to finish the game.
But front-four is misleading; rather it was the front nine. Yes, all nine of the Lions’ defensive linemen contributed to the dismantling of the "Monsters of the Midway."
From starters Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Cliff Avril, to backups Jackson, Fluellen, Young, Hill and first-round draft pick Nick Fairley, the Lions front rotated in and out of the lineup like shoppers through revolving doors at Macy’s on Black Friday.
I’m not sure, but I think I saw Al “Bubba” Baker get a shot in on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Can you imagine the jealously of former Lions head coach Rod Marinelli as he watched from the opposing sideline the exact defensive scheme he tried to implement during his tenure in the Motor City? The difference is he was working with the likes of Cory Redding and Ikaika Alama-Francis.
With six of the nine members drafted in the first three rounds of NFL drafts and three in the first round, the Lions have an embarrassment of riches at the disposal of defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.
Under the direction of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, Kocurek moved the Lions tackles and defensive ends from the field to the Gatorade and back in again, while the Bears offensive lineman wheezed for air and privately pled for the beat down to end.
It was like watching a ship from "The Odyssey" spin in circles as one side of the ship’s oarsmen were served steak and baked potatoes while the others survived on bread and water; it was that disparate.
The Bears came into the game banged-up on the offensive line with starter Gabe Carimi out, second-year J’Marcus Webb protecting Cutler's backside and Frank Omiyale having difficulty containing all comers on the right. Cutler barely had enough time to pass gas, let alone find a receiver.
Remarkably, Cutler gave his best Rocky Balboa impersonation getting up from the mat several times and firing an impressive 28-of-38 for 249 yards and one touchdown. Cutler was harassed relentlessly by the Lions. On his 38 attempts, he received 12 hurries, nine knockdowns and three sacks.
I am convinced both Lovie Smith and Mike Martz are the beneficiaries of a very lucrative Jay Cutler life insurance policy.
Like Bear Grylls from "Man vs. Wild," Bear Cutler was never allowed a moment of comfort as he was in constant motion, searching for safety within an ever closing aggregate of Honolulu Blue & Silver.
The Bears committed nine false start penalties. Nine false starts? "Nine times? I don’t remember Ferris being sick nine times?” When an opportunity presents itself to inject Ferris Bueller humor, you take it.
Even the up-man on the Bears punt team got in on the false start act. That was the only time I can remember the player calling the snap on a punt moving prior to the snap.
But that’s the way the night went as the home crowd played a significant role creating decibel levels not seen since young girls overwhelmed Ford Field this summer for a Taylor Swift concert.
Elvis Presley’s "Heartbreak Hotel" was a No. 1 hit the last time the Lions were 5-0. Jay Cutler today must certainly feel so lonely he could die; we have the Lions front nine to thank for his misery.
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