C-minus -- Considering the conditions, QB Chad Hutchinson didn't play too badly, completing passes of 14 yards or longer to six different receivers. But his only interception, at the end of the first half, wasted great field position and a chance to get on the scoreboard before the break.
D-minus -- Thomas Jones rushed eight times for 32 yards on the first possession of the game but just seven times for eight yards the rest of the day. Once again, the Bears abandoned the running game in the second half of a close game, rushing eight times for five yards.
PASS DEFENSE C-minus -- The front four pressured David Carr for much of the day, but there were key breakdowns at inopportune times, such as the 69-yard pass to Jabar Gaffney that set up a fourth-quarter field goal and the 37-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford that opened the scoring.
RUSH DEFENSE C -- Domanick Davis rushed for 95 yards on 25 carries, and he ran right through FS R.W. McQuarters at the goal line on his 11-yard TD run.
SPECIAL TEAMS C -- K Paul Edinger missed a 39-yard FG, his ninth miss of what has been a dreadful season. P Brad Maynard was outstanding again as he continues to perform at a near-Pro Bowl level. The return game was adequate, as was the kick coverage.
COACHING D -- Abandoning the running game when you have two immobile tackles who can't pass block is inexcusable on offensive coordinator Terry Shea's part, and Lovie Smith is also to blame for not stepping in and demanding more runs.
LIONS REPORT CARD VS. VIKINGS
B-plus -- Despite a bad case of flu that required IVs before and during the game, QB Joey Harrington played one of the best games of his three-year NFL career. He completed 25 of 44 passes for a career-best 361 yards and two touchdowns. Equally important, his receivers made plays for him. Tai Streets made a tough catch at the goal line for a two-point conversion, and Roy Williams made two good TD catches in the end zone.
B -- Rookie RB Kevin Jones didn't post the big numbers he's been putting up the last few weeks, in part because he was fighting the flu and in part because of the Vikings' defensive focus on him. Still, he managed to gain 79 yards on 19 tries, including a 16-yard touchdown run, and the Lions' offensive line again showed an ability to open holes. RB Shawn Bryson has developed into a perfect change of pace; Sunday, he ran twice for 19 yards and added 51 yards on three receptions.
C-minus -- The Lions sacked Daunte Culpepper five times, including two by DE James Hall, but otherwise had a pretty bad day against the Vikings. The coverage was poor, especially on Dulpepper's 36-yard touchdown pass to Nate Burleson in the first quarter, and it was even worse on his 82-yarder to Randy Moss. CB Dre' Bly dropped off Moss early, and the safeties couldn't catch him.
C -- The Lions did a reasonably good job against Michael Bennett, who averaged only 3.9 yards on 13 carries, and they held Onterrio Smith to just six yards on four carries. But they couldn't shut down the running game completely. Both Bennett and Culpepper had 14-yard runs, and Moe Williams scored on an 11-yarder.
C-plus -- Only one glaring breakdown -- rookie LS Don Muhlbach gave holder Nick Harris a one-hopper and Harris couldn't corral it to set up the extra point that would have sent the game into overtime, thereby costing the Lions the game. Nine times out of 10, Harris can handle a bad snap if he can get his hands on it; this time he didn't. The punt and kickoff coverages were good, and PK Jason Hanson connected from 32 and 23-yard field goal attempts. Reggie Swinton's PRs and KORs don't measure up to what injured Eddie Drummond can do.
C-plus -- No glaring bad decisions, no mishandling of game management or clock management. Coach Steve Mariucci did a good job getting Harrington to throw the ball downfield for a change instead of throwing short, safe passes. It's hard to criticize defensive coordinator Dick Jauron for the poor coverages when he's playing with safeties lacking the speed to stick with receivers.
PACKERS REPORT CARD VS. JAGUARS
D-plus -- Brett Favre had a field day against CBs Dewayne Washington and Rashean Mathis. Javon Walker caught 11 of the 16 balls thrown his way for 152 yards. Favre hit 68.1 percent of 44 passes for 367 yards. However, he also threw three interceptions on first down, nearly threw three more interceptions and threw low to Walker on what should have been a 13-yard touchdown pass. The protection was decent, but G Marco Rivera and LT Chad Clifton did allow sacks.
D -- Ahman Green carried 17 times for 94 yards, a 5.5 average. However, he was caught from behind by aging CB Dewayne Washington on a 27-yard run and fumbled three times. Actually, he was charged with only two and Brett Favre was hit with one, but their botched handoff was far more Green's fault than Favre's. Guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera had colossal challenges from DTs Marcus Stroud and John Henderson and held their own.
D-minus -- Byron Leftwich attempted just 20 passes but had a passer rating of 98.1. Jimmy Smith, covered man-to-man by Al Harris most of the day, embarrassed the veteran cornerback with deft moves and surprising speed. The pass rush was as fierce as it has been all season. DT Cullen Jenkins registered four knockdowns in the first half alone, including two on stunts against LT Ephraim Salaam and LG Vince Manuwai. As usual, the Packers were guilty of coverage penalties galore.
F -- Fred Taylor gained 46 and 37 yards on the exact same trap play against a dime defense. In each case, FS Darren Sharper filled the wrong gap and Taylor was away free. SS Mark Roman could have shortened each of the runs but took bad angles and was slow to close. The Packers played eight in the box most of the game and thus were able to slow down Taylor somewhat. But in the crunch they caved in.
B -- FB Vonta Leach partially blocked a punt that went just 14 yards. TE Ben Steele stripped David Allen on a punt return and S Michael Hawthorne recovered. Antonio Chatman broke a slew of tackles and averaged 10.8 on five punt returns. Ryan Longwell was 1-2 on field goals, missing from 31. Bryan Barker had a net punt average of 24.7 in three tries.
D -- Mike Sherman celebrated his 50th birthday Sunday. What a dismal time it was. The Packers continued to make stupid mistakes (five turnovers, 12 penalties) and lost at home to a team from Florida in 12-degree weather. The defense as coordinated by Bob Slowik continued to make elementary-type mistakes.
VIKINGS REPORT CARD VS. LIONS
A -- For the first time since he strained his right hamstring two months ago, Randy Moss is back. He proved it Sunday by running past three Lions defenders to pull in an 82-yard touchdown from Daunte Culpepper that gave the Vikings a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter. WR Nate Burleson contributed his first multi-touchdown game, catching scores of 36 and 37 yards. Culpepper threw for 404 yards and three touchdowns on 25-for-35 passing. And the Vikings were able to do all of this with LT Bryant McKinnie out for most of the last three quarters because of back spasms. Rookie OL Nat Dorsey played in McKinnie's place. The Vikings gave up five sacks.
B -- Michael Bennett got his first start in four games and wasn't spectacular. But he ran hard for 51 yards on 13 carries (3.9). Onterrio Smith was a non-factor, running four times for six yards before a bruised elbow and Bennett's steady performance shut him down for the day. The best run of the season, however, was Moe Williams' 11-yard touchdown run on third-and-two with 1:37 left in the game. Williams ran over S Brock Marion inside the 5 and plowed into the end zone for the touchdown.
D -- The only things keeping this from an F-minus are two second-half interceptions by Corey Chavous and Brian WilliamsBrian Williams. Other than that, the pass defense was atrocious. Lions QB Joey Harrington, who threw for 47 yards in a loss to the Packers a week earlier, passed for a career-high 361 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. With no timeouts, he moved the Lions 80 yards in nine plays in the final 1:37. The game would have gone into overtime, but Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach botched a snap on an aborted extra point with eight seconds left in the game. CB Antoine Winfield (ankle) didn't play for the second consecutive game. Derek Ross was forced to play nickel back again and once again made costly errors. His holding penalty away from the play gave the Lions a second crack at a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, which they capitalized on. Ross also was called for interference on Roy Williams in the end zone with 17 seconds left. The Lions scored from the 1 on the next play. Brian Williams also gave up a number of big catches.
C -- The Lions ran for more than 100 yards in the first half of the teams' previous meeting. The Vikings were determined not to let that happen again, so they loaded up to stop the run. The Lions finished with a solid 4.5-yard average per carry (25-113), but it was an acceptable performance from the run defense. Kevin Jones had 79 yards on 19 carries. But he did score from 16 yards.
B -- From now on, every time we rip the Vikings' special teams we'll think of Don Muhlbach and The Snap. With the Lions trailing 28-27 with eight seconds left, Muhlbach bounced his snap to holder Nick Harris. Harris had bailed Muhlbach out on a bad snap earlier in the game. But this snap was so terrible, poor Harris had no chance. Vikings CB Terrance Shaw got to Harris and tackled him before Harris was able to recover and at least attempt what would have been a game-winning two-point conversion. The Vikings got some solid punt returns from Mewelde Moore, who took over for Nate Burleson, who needed a break from the extra pounding of returning punts. Moore averaged nine yards on three returns with a long of 17. The kickoff returns was below average (18.8 average on five attempts), but the kickoff coverage (20.8 on four) was acceptable.
C -- It's hard to get excited about a win at Detroit that came down to a botched extra-point snap by the Lions. The defense still has major issues to resolve. If Joey Harrington can throw for 361 yards and march 80 yards for a touchdown in the final 1:37 with no timeouts, something is seriously wrong. Offensively, the Vikings are starting to look like they did early in the season when Moss was healthy. Coordinator Scott Linehan, who was savaged nationally for calling the ill-fated reverse option pass that resulted in a crippling interception late in the Seattle game, called a good game Sunday. The game-winning 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive was well-orchestrated and executed. Until the Vikings can learn to put teams away with their defense, this isn't a team that will achieve its first goal -- an NFC North title -- or certainly its second goal -- a Super Bowl title.