Making the grade

Defensive Line: Rosey Colvin (5 tackles, sack, 2 PD) provided decent pressure on Harrington (21-40-213 1 TD, 1 Int). Bryan Robinson had one of his strongest games of the season. He had 3 passes defended at the line, one of them leading to an interception. Although he had only 2 tackles, he forced Stewart (22-85, 6/38, TD) to the outside on several occasions. When Keith Traylor wasn't being held, he was busy occupying blockers, taking on the lead back, and forcing a fumble of Schlesinger. Alfonso Boone made a play when he got on the field. Phillip Daniels had a pass defended and a sack, although the sack came when Harrington took his turn at falling down as he dropped back. Christian Peter, Bryan Knight and Alex Brown made a couple of tackles but did not have major contributions. Brown was also held quite a bit. Brown allowed himself to get stiff-armed by Stewart on his touchdown run. The Lions rushed for 102 yards. The run defense was decent, but pass rushing could have been a bit better. Some of it was by design, as Blache employed a 3-man line on several occasions.
GRADE: B-

Linebackers: Rosey Colvin was an early target on several passing plays, as the Lions looked to go at him with tight end Mikhael Ricks (1/11) and fullback Corey Schlesinger (1/12). Colvin did a good job in coverage on both of them. He failed to wrap on one of Stewart's better runs. Brian Urlacher (8 tackles, PD) did his best to make amends for what many considered a poor performance in the first meeting. He took some great angles on plays off the edge, to seal off runs by Stewart, and also deflected a potential touchdown pass on 3rd down. He did get blown back a few yards on a strong Schlesinger block on a sweep around right end. Bobbie Howard (6 tackles) and Mike Caldwell (5 tackles, FR) were around the ball quite a bit, making the most of their split duty. Caldwell's recovery of a Schlesinger fumble was a big play. This group made some better plays in coverage, and did a better job of taking good angles to the ball.
GRADE: B

Defensive Backs: R.W. McQuarters (3 tackles, Int, PD) intercepted a pass and took it back 33 yards. He had a strong game in coverage, and many plays went away from him. Jerry Azumah (5 tackles) was a bit of a target, and he had a couple of shaky moments, but didn't get completely beaten. His worst moment came on a 34-yard pass to Anderson up the left sideline. He had position, but didn't play the ball. Mike Green (9 tackles) did a better job in coverage, and was tough against the run. Mike Brown (5 tackles) had a quiet game. Damon Moore was the second player Stewart stiff-armed out of his way en route to his 23-yard touchdown romp up the left sideline. The touchdown pass to Crowell came against Larry Whigham's coverage. Roosevelt Williams played but was not a factor. Overall, the coverage was decent, but they did allow a few too many 3rd down conversions in the early going.
GRADE: C+


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