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.
Once again, the Detroit Lions ' defense wasn't to blame for a late game collapse. Much of the afternoon, Detroit's defense held the Minnesota Vikings off the scoreboard, collected a turnover and allowed the offense a chance to take over a very winnable game.
As per usual in the second half of the season, however, the offense failed to cash in on their opportunities. Save for a few big plays by Cordarrelle Patterson, the defense did well to limit the damage, and had a few solid performances. They collect a B- grade overall for Sunday's performance.
1. Louis Delmas, S, B+. Delmas had the best game of any Detroit defender on Sunday, piling up an interception and a sack. Though he drew a penalty for another irresponsible hit, Delmas's interception helped the Lions turn away the Vikings in a big moment during the game. He played well in the last game of the season. Will Delmas return next year? That's yet to be seen.
2. Nick Fairley, DT, B. In the middle of the line, Fairley was the most active Lions defender, collecting 1.5 sacks and hitting the quarterback twice. Fairley also collected five tackles, and elevated his game at the right time. It was a step forward for Fairley, who must find consistency in 2014 in order to be a consistent force for the Lions' defensive line, who most regard as tough.
3. Stephen Tulloch, LB, B-. As usual, Tulloch was solid over the middle, collecting 12 total tackles. He also had half a sack and one quarterback hit. Tulloch's play and leadership hasn't been a problem, and he's been one of the more solid Lions when it comes to letting play do the talking on the field.
4. DeAndre Levy, LB, B-. Along with Tulloch, Levy was similarly solid, grabbing seven tackles and one pass defended. On the year, Levy was arguably Detroit's best defender, as he consistently delivered big games and particularly, major interceptions. Thankfully, Levy played well to justify last season's contract extension.
5. Ndamukong Suh, DT, C. Suh's finish to 2013 wasn't very dominating, as he only had three tackles and two passes defended in the final game. At times, Suh quietly dominated, but other times, he didn't jump off the screen as a dominating defensive lineman. Suh's grade for the last game sums up his season; decent enough to get the job done, but not good enough to be considered elite or majorly game changing.
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