Lions Report Card: Week 10

In-depth report card from Sunday's win against Chicago.

REPORT CARD VS. BEARS

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- QB Joey Harrington did a better job of looking downfield and throwing the ball downfield, and his receivers did a much better job of catching passes. WR Scotty Anderson led the receiving corps with five catches for 77 yards but twice came to nearly to a complete stop to avoid getting hit. TE Casey Fitzsimmons and RB Shawn Bryson also had five catches each and Harrington's 80.8 passer rating was his best since the season opener.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Lions' running game was virtually non-existent against the Bears. The gained only 17 yards on 20 rushing attempts, and that includes WR Reggie Swinton's nine-yard run on a gimmick play. Two bad plays involved questionable coaching decisions to run rookie RB Avon Cobourne twice on second-and-inches and third-and-one, and he was stuffed both times, costing the Lions a field goal opportunity in the fourth quarter when they still trailed, 10-9.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Aside from the breakdown that left TE Desmond Clark open for the 12-yard touchdown pass from Chris Chandler, the Lions played reasonably well. They got two QB sacks, SS Corey Harris got an interception with 27 seconds to play and their makeshift defensive secondary -- playing without CB Dre' Bly -- survived nicely playing zone coverages on ever play except one.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Back-to-back strong defensive performances against the run is one of the major reasons for the Lions second straight victory. LBs Boss Bailey and Earl Holmes led a stubborn defense which allowed the Bears only 66 yards on 24 plays, including 61 on 21 tries (2.9 yards per attempt) by RB Anthony Thomas.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Special teams played a key role in the win, despite a couple of breakdowns. On the plus side, PK Jason Hanson was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including the 48-yarder for the lead with 39 seconds to play, and the Lions did a good job on punt coverage. On the negative side, they failed to convert on a fake punt and their squib kick -- trying to avoid Bears KOR Jerry Azumah -- nearly backfired when Hanson kicked it too short.

COACHING: B-minus -- Give defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer credit for back-to-back effective game plans that were keys to wins against Oakland and Chicago. Coach Steve Mariucci has done a good job of keeping the Lions playing after the 1-6 start but made questionable decisions to run rookie RB Avon Cobourne twice when the Lions needed just inches for a first down and also to squib-kick after taking the lead, 12-10, in the final minute.


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