Jeff Backus Not Winning Anybody over with Hustle Points


Published: September 25, 2009

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... and I’m sure he is. You never see him get into trouble, and he has quietly been a Detroit Lions starter for almost a decade now.

But he gives up a lot of sacks, and tends to personify the entire Matt Millen era by being his very first ever draft pick.

It’s not his fault, but it’s the truth. He has worked to overcome that by starting every game since his draft date.

But last week against the Vikings, he made no friends and impressed no fans with his now-infamous “phantom block” play.

In case you missed it, in the first play of the second half, Backus allowed Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen to go by untouched, making a beeline for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Seemingly, he was waiting for some other, invisible man to block.

After a cartoonish scene in which Allen crunched Stafford from his blind side, leaving the ball suspended in midair for a moment where Stafford was holding it, the ball fell as a fumble at Backus’ feet.


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