Dud of the Week: Defensive Line

Quarterbacks always get too much credit for wins and too much blame for losses. Rex Grossman was far from stellar and turned the ball over four times against Miami, but he had nothing to do with the fact that Ronnie Brown shredded the Bears on the ground and Joey Harrington had time to throw three TD passes. The Chicago defensive line is the Bear Report Dud of the Week.

Miami's Ronnie Brown is a very good young running back. The second overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, the former Tiger paired with Ricky Williams to form a very capable one-two punch for the Dolphins on the ground last season. But with Williams banished to the CFL and the gig all to himself for the first time, Brown had put up very pedestrian totals in 2006.

When you consider the fact that he was facing the best defense in the NFL in terms of rushing yards and points allowed - on the road, no less - Sunday was not supposed to be the day Brown's day.

29 carries and 157 yards later, Brown married an impressive combination of power and speed to completely overwhelm a Chicago front seven that had appeared to be impenetrable in stretches this season. He added 33 yards on two receptions to finish the game with a whopping 190 yards from scrimmage. Kevin Jones of Detroit, Maurice Morris of Seattle, and Willis McGahee of Buffalo combined for just 129 yards on 37 attempts at Soldier Field, but all of a sudden the last two Sundays, Brown and San Francisco's Frank Gore have totaled 41 rushes for 268 yards.

In the passing game, former Lion Joey Harrington - the same Joey Harrington who threw five interceptions his last game in Chicago - tossed three touchdown passes and managed to escape the lakefront without getting sacked. He may have only been 16-of-32 on the day for 137 yards with a pair of interceptions, but he had time to throw and used his mobility to repeatedly buy some extra time in the pocket. Not to mention that the Dolphins featured a patchwork offensive line that had been bruised and battered all season long.

The only signature play delivered by the Bears defensive front was a leaping snare of an interception by Alex Brown in the Chicago red zone. Aside from that, rookie Mark Anderson was held without a sack for the first time in a month, Tommie Harris suddenly has just three solo tackles and zero sacks his last four games, and Adewale Ogunleye was a ghost against his former team. For their curious disappearing act, the Bears D-line is the collective Bear Report Dud of the Week.


Bear Report Top Stories