Making the grade

The Bears won their fourth game of the year by defeating the Jets 20-13.

Defensive Line: Although they allowed Curtis Martin (21-127, 4-33 Td) to have a big day, the line had a reasonably good game. Alex Brown (3 tackles, PD) had a QB pressure, and a pass batted down at the line. He was getting good pressure, but got held on numerous occasions. Phillip Daniels (4 tackles, sack) had some pressure and added a sack. He also made a couple plays against the run. Despite playing hurt, Keith Traylor gutted it out and made several big plays. He made a big stop on a short yardage play and also added a tackle for a loss. Rosevelt Colvin had a couple pressures on the quarterback, as did Bryan Knight. Knight didn't do much early in the game, and then seemed to get better as the day wore on. He had a huge hit on Pennington after the ball got out on an incomplete pass in the red zone. It was nearly a late hit. Bryan Robinson played a lot in the middle, since Christian Peter was a game day inactive. He didn't do much of impact from a numbers standpoint, but was standing up his man at the point, slowing down the running back's read. Run defense could have been a little better, and the pass rush was average.
GRADE: C

Linebackers: Brian Urlacher (8 tackles, TFL, PD) had a couple plays he would have loved to have had back. He got eaten up by the lead back on an isolation play for Martin's long run, and then overpursued on another off right guard. To his credit, he took on the lead blocker on the isolation sooner than he has in weeks, and with his speed, strength and smarts it will only be a matter of time before he is stuffing the fullback into the runner. He made a nice play to grab the running back on a checkdown pass, chasing him down in pursuit. After replaying the shot, it appeared that this was his man to begin with. So he blew his assignment, but was fast enough to prevent the play from going for long yardage. Bobbie Howard (5 tackles) continues to show a good nose for the football, and Rosey Colvin (2 tackles) did a better job in run support than he had in a few weeks. Howard was the only man in coverage on a short touchdown pass to his area. Mike Caldwell saw some action, and was not a factor. The Jets throw a lot of passes underneath by design (West Coast Offense). Although a lot were completed, very few went for long gains because this unit was very sure in their tackling.
GRADE: B-

Defensive Backs: R.W. McQuarters was inactive for the game. Rookie Roosevelt Williams (4 tackles, PD, FR) started and played the entire game. Not only did he hold his own; he was a major factor in the success of the Bears' defense. He made a leaping stab to deflect a pass in the red zone to prevent a touchdown opportunity for the Jets. It was Williams who recovered Wayne Chrebet's (3/30, Td) fumble as the Jets were driving near the end of regulation. Jerry Azumah had a decent game on the other side, but in the process of undercutting Laveranues Coles (5/71, 1-5) to make a tackle, got landed on and had to leave the game for an extended period of time before returning. He may have suffered a mild concussion, based on the way he groggily left the field. Travis Coleman replaced Azumah, and struggled. He flat out missed Jerald Sowell on a short route, and then was flagged for pass interference on a deep pass up the left sideline to Coles. Safety Mike Green (12 tackles, PD, FF) made a ton of tackles in run support, and on the short passes. Mike Brown (2 tackles) committed a facemask penalty on a long run by Martin. Green took a poor angle early in the same run. Overall, the Bears did a much better job of being sure tacklers, and kept the Jets in front of them for the most part. There were only a couple breakdowns, and solid overall play minimized them. Considering a modest pass rush and a strong rushing attack from Martin, this group had a lot of pressure on it, and responded.
GRADE: B


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