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.
Normally, the scorecard seeks to break down one positional group, but considering a total team effort on defense was needed for the Detroit Lions to beat the Chicago Bears, the entire defense is getting put under the microscope this week. That's fitting given the way everyone performed.
Start to finish, with a hungry effort, Detroit's defenders outplayed their always ballyhooed counterparts from the Windy City. The Lions flocked to the ball, pressured Jay Cutler, forced him into bad decisions, scored a touchdown and earned a solid win.
Despite giving up 32 points, the Lions won with defense, and the group earned an A- for their second NFC North test of the year.
1. Ndamukong Suh, DT, A+, Suh had his best Sunday in a Lions uniform, collecting two sacks of Cutler while dominating in running game as well. Best yet, Suh was clean, giving his opposition no reason to accuse him of dirty play or questionable hitting. All day, Suh dominated Kyle Long, causing Long plenty of consternation. It's been refreshing to watch Suh's elevate his play this season, especially against teams like Chicago and Minnesota.
2. Louis Delmas, S, A+. Similarly, Delmas might have had his most consistent day in Detroit. Not only was he a force in run defense with big tackles on Matt Forte, Delmas secured two interceptions of Cutler, perhaps his best being an acrobatic, wrestling effort in the first half. In the second half, he intercepted Cutler again, thwarting another Chicago drive. It's safe to say that's what the Lions had in mind when they rested Delmas most of the preseason.
3. Stephen Tulloch, MLB, A-. Tulloch played his role well for Detroit, acting as an eraser over the middle of the field to the tune of 14 tackles. He also stepped up in an unexpected front, collecting Detroit's other sack of Cutler. All day, he was active and an emotional leader on defense, making him one of the Lions' best performers.
4. DeAndre Levy, OLB. B+. Early in the game. Levy was a difference maker, showing well in the passing game and tackling well. Though Forte broke one big run and padded his statistics as a result Levy's presence was a major reason he wasn't able to have as varied an impact in the passing game as Chicago enjoys. With two interceptions early in the season, Levy has played well. Sunday, he didn't make a big play, but his solid contributions helped the defense remain stout.
5. Chris Houston, CB, B. Nothing proved how valuable Houston was to the Lions better than seeing him leave the game and watch the drop off from the first unit to the second. Though he was beaten by Brandon Marshall a few times, Houston blanketed him the rest of the way, only getting victimized by perfectly placed passes. Marshall only collected 79 yards, and that was due in large part to the coverage of Houston, who'll certainly be missed if his leg injury proves serious.
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