Making the grade

Defensive Line: There is no way Ricky Williams' 216 yard effort can be put at the feet of anyone other than this group to start with. Keith Traylor, Alex Brown (3 tackles, 2 sacks) and Phillip Daniels (5 tackles) made one or two good plays each. Unfortunately, that's one more good play in the run game than Christian Peter and Bryan Robinson made. Robinson can add to his season of embarrassment the way he was blown back by quarterback Jay Fiedler on a block. Three or four good plays across the line against 30-plus carries for Williams spelled disaster for the Bears. Brown had 2 sacks. Robinson committed a penalty on a turnover to kill some field position. Fiedler had too much time to throw, and Ricky Williams had far too many holes to choose from. The Bears are so bad now that even the referees have trouble watching them, evidenced by Alex Brown getting a sack on a play where he was obviously held, but there was no call.

Linebackers: Rosey Colvin (1 tackle) got sucked into play action and was beaten for his second touchdown in as many weeks to a tight end (Franks, Weaver). Brian Urlacher (9 tackles, FF) played despite a painful shoulder stinger. He was very active, but did not have many plays of impact. Bobbie Howard (6 tackles, Int., PD) had the best game of the group. He made several good plays against the run, and got an interception, which he pitched to Jerry Azumah. Both Howard and Urlacher were blocked off at the point of attack on Ricky Williams' 63-yard touchdown run. The play was a simple counter to the right, and tight end Randy McMichael led up the hole on Urlacher to seal him off. Mike Caldwell was in on some plays but was not a factor.

Defensive Backs: Jay Fiedler (15-29-196 Td, Int.) wasn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard with his performance. But when the Dolphins needed a first down, he managed to find his receivers in the Swiss cheese pass defense the Bears employ for the necessary yardage. He also hit receivers several times short of the first down marker, only to see defenders get shaken for extra yardage. Damon Moore (4 tackles, PD) made a great pass defense in the end zone to prevent a touchdown. He continues to get more and more time in various packages, and looks like a good bet to unseat strong safety Mike Green, possibly before season's end. Mike Green (6 tackles, FR) had a fumble recovery, but got blocked on a reverse and took several bad angles to the ball, as did Mike Brown (5 tackles). R.W. McQuarters (6 tackles, FR, PD) had at least two missed tackles. He did have a nice pass defended, and was getting held on a number of running plays. Jerry Azumah (8 tackles, FF) didn't have many mistakes, and continues to look like the surest tackler among the Bear secondary. There were too many missed tackles in both run support and pass defense to give high marks to this group.

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