Grading the Game: Bears-Lions

Nothing lower than a B-minus usually means you had a good week and that was the case for the Chicago Bears against the Detroit Lions.

Bears Report Card PASSING OFFENSE: B -- QB Kyle Orton didn't make any big mistakes, rookie or otherwise. He didn't turn the ball over and was sacked just twice while completing 14-of-21 for 150 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Muhsin Muhammad had team highs of six catches and 81 receiving yards, but again, no one else made much of a contribution. But the Bears didn't need to throw the ball much.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus -- The Bears accomplished what they needed more than anything, running well enough so that they didn't have to pass. Thomas Jones played well enough to halt any talk of a RB controversy. Jones scored twice and rushed for 139 yards on 20 carries. Rookie Cedric Benson played earlier and more often, picking up 49 yards on 16 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Bears had five interceptions, including two by CB Nathan Vasher, and even though they came against Joey Harrington, it was still an outstanding performance. Roy Williams had five catches for 96 yards, but none of the Lions' other weapons hurt the Bears. SS Mike Brown had big hits all day, the biggest of which nearly decapitated TE Marcus Pollard.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Lions RB Kevin Jones had 123 yards against the Bears in their last meeting, but he was held to 22 yards on eight carries Sunday, and the Lions totaled just 29 rushing yards on 18 attempts (1.6-yard average).

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- Bobby Wade had a 73-yard punt-return touchdown and Jerry Azumah averaged 33.5 yards on two kickoff returns. New K Doug Brien missed two of three attempts, from 36 and 48 yards, but he also hit a 48-yarder. P Brad Maynard had a mediocre day.

COACHING: B -- The Bears were effective in pressuring Lions QB Joey Harrington, blitzing with different players and from different attack points. Offensively they committed to the running game, and it paid big dividends.

Lions Report Card
PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- QB Joey Harrington produced touchdowns with two of his first three passes Sunday. Unfortunately, one was an interception that set up the Bears' first touchdown and the second was a 51-yard touchdown pass to teammate Roy Williams. After that, however, the Lions' passing game went downhill rapidly. The offensive line failed to protect Harrington, resulting in only two sacks, but Harrington frequently has to rush his throws and was intercepted a career-high five times -- and finished the day with a passer rating of 36.4.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- There was literally nothing there and that's about what the Lions got -- a net of 29 yards on 18 plays behind an ineffective offensive line. RB Kevin Jones carried only eight times for 22 yards and collided with QB Joey Harrington on a botched fourth-and-one play in the third quarter. Aside from a 15-yard scramble by Harrington in the opening game against Green Bay, the Lions' longest run of the season has been an eight-yarder by Jones.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- The idea was to put the heat on Bears rookie QB Kyle Orton, confuse him with multiple defensive fronts and chase him out of the pocket. The Bears' offensive line would have none of it, however, and Orton was seldom rushed. He was sacked only twice, including once by DT Shaun Rogers when the Chicago offensive line blew the snap count.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The run defense which had worked so well a week earlier against Ahman Green and the Green Bay Packers came unglued against the Bears and Thomas Jones. The Bears offensive line virtually negated the efforts of DTs Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson, opening holes for Jones to pile up 139 yards on 20 rushing attempts.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Eddie Drummond's 41-yard punt return set up the Lions' only touchdown, but that was one of the few things that went right against the Bears. K Remy Hamilton, signed to fill in for injured Jason Hanson (hamstring), had an extra point blocked; the punt coverage team gave up a 73-yard punt return touchdown to Bobby Wade; and the kickoff coverage team gave up a 34-yarder to Jerry Azumah.

COACHING: F -- It was a matter of being prepared. Or, in this case, unprepared. Coach Steve Mariucci and coordinator Ted Tollner were at a loss to adjust to the Bears' aggressive, attacking defense and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron couldn't find a way to rattle Bears QB Kyle Orton, a rookie drafted in the fourth round.

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