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Detroit Lions’ Scorecard: Breaking Down the Play of the Linebackers Against the Arizona Cardinals

September 16th, 2013 at 10:44 AM
By Max DeMara

Every Monday during the regular season, the "Detroit Lions' Scorecard" will take a closer look at the on field performance of an important positional group and rank their performance during the prior game.

The Detroit Lions faded late in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals, but it certainly wasn't due to a shaky defense. Detroit's defenders managed to hold the fort well for four quarters on the road, giving the team a chance to win late.

'Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings 2012/09/30' photo (c) 2012, kdoebler@att.net - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Leading the charge here was the linebackers, as the group contributed 12 total tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception and one pass defended against the Cardinals. The group was active all over the field, and though it's not the deepest position to analyze, their performance is going under the microscope today.

In total, the group earned an A- for their complete effort Sunday.

1. DeAndre Levy, OLB. A. Another solid day for Levy, who's had two fantastic weeks in a row. Sunday, he jumped a route and intercepted Carson Palmer's pass, contributing a huge score for the Lions. Levy also tackled well, collecting five on the afternoon. Two weeks in a row, Levy has contributed important scoring plays for Detroit's defense, even though one didn't count. The fact that he's rediscovered his penchant for being a big play linebacker is a huge development. 

2. Stephen Tulloch, MLB, A-. Tulloch, as usual, was phenomenal against the run, stuffing Arizona at the line and remaining a tough hitter over the middle of the field. Tulloch's leadership is huge for the Lions' defense, and he continued that Sunday by leading by example on the field with a gritty effort.

3. Ashlee Palmer, OLB, B+.  An important development to watch for Detroit has been Palmer, normally a special teams player, taking over as a starter on the outside. Two games in, the result has been decent so far. Palmer didn't make many impact plays on Sunday, but his name wasn't called in a negative way, either. Most of the time, aside from the game breaking plays, defensive players should be invisible, especially at a position like outside linebacker. Palmer was coming off a midweek injury as well, meaning he held up decently on the road.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

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Tags: Ashlee Palmer, DeAndre Levy, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, NFL, Stephen Tulloch

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