Defensive Line (D)
Reggie Bush had 112 yards on 11 carries in the first half. Matthew Stafford was sacked once. Need I say more? OK, if you insist.
Julius Peppers might be getting healthy or just decided to start playing, as he had his best game of the season with a sack and a strip to force a fumble. He added a big TFL. Nate Collins did a decent job trying to stand in for Henry Melton, but there were big holes up front all day.
Corey Wootton had a nice forced fumble as the Lions were trying to run out the clock to make the game a little more interesting. Shea McClellin is a liability in the run defense and isn’t good enough to play every down.
Lance Briggs had a decent game, recording 9 tackles. DJ Williams and James Anderson added a handful of tackles between the two of them, but neither had a standout game. When the opponent moves the ball as effectively on the ground as the Lions did, a lot of it falls on the linebackers.
The Bears held Calvin Johnson to 44 receiving yards and a touchdown on the day. A good bit of credit goes to the cornerbacks, including Peanut Tillman. Isaiah Frey had a decent little game out of the nickelback position too. Still, they let someone named Kris Durham lead the Lions with 58 receiving yards.
Major Wright came up with another interception. He also came up with a couple of armfuls of air as Reggie Bush posterized him on an attempted tackle. Chris Conte didn’t appear to make an ass out of himself in my first viewing of the tape.
Special Teams (D)
Aside from the Devin Hester return-a-palooza agaisnt the Vikings a couple of weeks ago, the Bears special teams have been rather abysmal. They gave up another big return this week to set up a short Lions score. They’ve been punting away from the likes of Michael Spurlock as if he was a second coming of Brian Mitchell.
The next good onside kick that Robbie Gould makes will be his first. I know it’s tough to convert those, but he’s never been any good at it and both his attempts on Sunday – both the same freaking play – were poor attempts.
I should almost break this into Head Coaching and Defensive Coordinator. Trestman gets a C and Mel Tucker gets a D-.
Marc Trestman’s game plan went out the window about halfway through the second quarter as the Bears were giving up 24 straight points. Give credit, he kept the team fighting to mount a 4th quarter comeback, but his renowned quarterback whispering didn’t seem to keep Jay Cutler from having a meltdown.
As for the defense, I don’t think Tucker has a clue what to do with the aging Bears defense. He’s been forced to dial up blitzes, exposing his cornerbacks to generate pressure. When he sits back in coverage, the defense gets picked apart because the front 4 can’t generate a pass rush. If Tucker can’t find the right formula soon, it won’t matter what the offense does.
It used to be that if the Bears scored more than 18 points, they were going to win like 90% of their games. That is clearly not the case any more. The last time the Bears scored at least 32 points and lost was back in 1989. I think that is due in part to the fact they rarely scored 32 points.
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