High grades

Defensive Line: For the first time in 8 weeks, the Bear defensive line resembled its 2001 form. Donovan McNabb (18-33-209, 1 INT, 9-46) was under a good deal of pressure, and was not allowed to get out of it a number of times. Running plays were stymied up the middle, off tackle, and around end (37 carries, 114 yards). Most of the Eagle rushing yardage came on scrambles and reverses. Duce Staley was held to 39 yards rushing on 19 carries. Making the biggest impact were defensive tackle Christian Peter and end Phillip Daniels. Peter (6 tackles) was held a number of times and committed a penalty. Daniels (6 tackles, 2 sacks) registered two sacks and also a key stop on 4th and 1. Daniels committed a 15-yard facemask infraction. Bryan Robinson had a sack wiped out because of a Reggie Austin penalty. Robinson played more tackle than he has in a long time, especially lined up next to Daniels at tackle in passing situations. He missed a sack later. Rosey Colvin applied a ton of pressure and was also held repeatedly. He made some good plays against the run as well. He also got flagged for hitting someone over the pile at or beyond the whistle. Alex Brown (8 tackles) started at end and was very active against the run. Keith Traylor had a steady game, and gave little ground on the Bear side of the line of scrimmage. Alfonso Boone saw some action but was not a factor. Bryan Knight played some end, and showed a decent push. Too many penalties by this unit hurt an otherwise solid effort.

Linebackers: Brian Urlacher (10 tackles, sack, PD, 2 TFL) had his best game of the season. He made a number of tackles for loss, got a sack, and continually forced McNabb to get rid of the ball early with the pressure he applied. He did a much better job of working laterally across the line to make plays off tackle and end. On the lone Eagle touchdown, he was literally picked up and moved aside like a sack of potatoes at a grocery store. Isn't that what holding is supposed to be? Rosey Colvin (4 tackles) made some decent plays in coverage and on the run. Bobbie Howard and Mike Caldwell played well enough on the weak-side, limiting passes to the Eagle running backs. Both players made solid, if unspectacular plays. Caldwell made a key stop on a McNabb scramble on 3rd and 8, holding him to only 5 yards.

Defensive Backs: It's difficult to accurately assess the play of the defensive backs, since the officiating was overly officious. R.W. McQuarters was questionably flagged twice for pass interference. Mike Green (13 tackles, 1 PD) committed illegal contact twice, and whiffed on a sack, where he tried to tackle too high. On the plus side, he had his 3rd consecutive good game in run support. He had a good pressure on McNabb early in the game, forcing an incompletion. Reggie Austin was called for holding, which negated a sack. Jerry Azumah got dinged up but returned to the game. He was beaten and flagged for pass interference up the left sideline in the 4th quarter by Todd Pinkston. Mike Brown (3 tackles, INT, 2 PD) had a quietly solid game in coverage and run support, and added an interception. McMillon subbed for Azumah and was picked on some but not burned. McQuarters' return to the lineup allowed the Bears to be a bit more aggressive up front, which gave their defense a serious lift.

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