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.
Blaming the Detroit Lions defense for the late collapse on Monday night would be incredibly short sighted. Most of the night, the defense, short-handed from the loss of Chris Houston and Darius Slay, played tough and held the Lions in a winnable game all evening long.
From normal contributors like DeAndre Levy and Rashean Mathis to an unexpected player like Jonte Green stepping up, the Lions had plenty of reasons to be satisfied in their defense. A 61 yard field goal, the last of six kicks made, should never beat a team late in the fourth quarter unless a failing offense is completely at fault. That was dramatically the case Monday, and the defense passes with an overall B- rating.
1. DeAndre Levy, LB, B+ Though he didn't grab another interception, Levy was solid in space all night for the Lions, continuing as a sure tackler and best of all, keeping Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson in check most of the night over the middle of the field. Levy was tested against the Ravens offense, and passed the test again with solid play.
2. Rashean Mathis, CB, B+. Mathis, a veteran, needed to step up with Houston and Slay out and did just that, He hung tough against Torrey Smith and company, and helped the Lions keep the Ravens without a 100 yard receiver. That was a big accomplishment considering the players missing. Mathis played fairly sticky coverage most of the night and stepped up big with the pressure on.
3. Nick Fairley, DT, B-. In the middle of the line, Fairley was stout against the run with three tackles, one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss. Fairley was arguably more active than Ndamkong Suh, who only had one toss of Joe Flacco and wasn't even given credit for hitting the quarterback. Fairley was steady last night, but should have been a bigger force when rushing the passer.
4. Jonte Green, CB, C+. Give Green, who hasn't played much in 2013, credit for stepping in and not looking exposed. He defended two passes, was in good position much of the night until the end of the game and did a decent job under siege from Flacco and his quality passing game. Green is casting out a nice role as a fill-in defensive back in this league, capable of stepping in when the team's in a tough spot and delivering.
5. Louis Delmas, S, C-. Though Delmas had seven tackles, he was an under performer Monday night. As usual, Delmas committed far too often to the big hit, often to the detriment of his team. He blew up his own players in piles and made a critical mistake taking down a Baltimore receiver and getting a penalty. Delmas passes, but not by much considering his reckless play continues to cost the Lions' secondary in big moments.
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