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Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis

Ross ReadContributor IIIDecember 30, 2012

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis

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    It was tougher than it should have been but the Chicago Bears eek out a win and stay alive for the playoffs. The Bears improved to 10-6 with a 26-24 victory over the Detroit Lions

    Matt Forte was simply amazing for the Bears. He had 103 yards on the ground on 24 carries and a touchdown. Most importantly, it was his tough running in the closing minutes that iced the game. 

    Jay Cutler had an early touchdown pass on a screen to Earl Bennett. Cutler finished with 257 yards on 18 for 31 and a quarterback rating of 95-8. Cutler did not turn the ball over all game. 

    The defense did their usual by forcing four turnovers. The special teams forced another turnover for a total of five for the game by the Lions. 

    The Bears were not able to cash in on the turnovers like they should have but Olindo Mare still had four field goals while missing one. 

    Tim Jennings had his ninth interception of the season, Brandon Marshall had five receptions for only 42 yards. Bennett led the way with 102 reception yards. 

    The victory against the Lions was the Bears second of the season against Detroit to sweep the season series but only their third win in the division this season. 

Quarterback

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    Jay Cutler: B

    Cutler did what he could on the road with a struggling star receiver and poor play calls. The early fumble was bad but overall he protected the football and did a great job picking up the late third down with his legs to help ice the game. 

Running Back

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    Matt Forte: A

    A tremendous gutsy effort by Forte on a bad ankle. Without a doubt the game ball should go to him. It was his early running that paced the offense and late grinding that ran out the clock. 

    Kahlil Bell: C

    Early on Bell's short yardage running was outstanding but in the second half he seemed a little tentative  when hitting the hole. 

    Evan Rodriguez: B

    Another solid lead blocking game for Rodriguez. 

Wide Receivers

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    Brandon Marshall: C-

    A tough game for Marshall who dropped some passes and had a hard time getting going. You have to wonder if the pressure of making the playoffs for the first time was heavy on his mind. 

    Earl Bennett: A

    With Marshall struggling it was a blessing Bennett stepped up with multiple big plays. It should be mentioned it was Marshall's block that sprung Bennett for the touchdown on the screen. 

    Alshon Jeffery: C+

    After the big catch to start the game Jeffery kind of went back into his bubble. He did come back to make another nice catch on third down stretching for the first down marker. 

    Devin Hester: F

    Another non-factor for Hester on offense again. 

Tight Ends

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    Kellen Davis: F

    Davis dropped a touchdown. Different game...same story

    Matt Spaeth: B

    Did a nice job in pass protection before leaving the game with a concussion. 

Offensive Line

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    J'Marcus Webb: B+

    Webb did another nice job protecting Cutler's blindside. He has really come on strong the last couple of weeks. 

    James Brown: B

    It's tough to keep the Lions' interior lineman off the quarterback. Brown did a solid job even though he is really not a starter. 

    Roberto Garza: B+

    Garza provided some toughness today standing up to the talkative and feisty defensive line of the Lions. 

    Chris Spencer: B+

    Spencer got some nice blocks in the second level, something we have not seen from a Bears guard too often this season. 

    Jonathan Scott: B

    Scott was especially good in the running game. 

Defensive Line

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    Julius Peppers: B

    Peppers had a pass deflection, quarterback hit and most importantly a key fumble recovery. 

    Israel Idonije: B

    Huge sack fumble by Idonije. 

    Stephen Paea: B

    Paea was able to free up Henry Melton on some pass rushes. When the Lions ran successfully it was to the outside and not up the middle. 

    Henry Melton: B

    Melton made his pass rushing presence felt early on. He didn't have a sack but credit him for some hurries and bad side arm throws by Stafford. 

    Corey Wootton: C

    Not as effective off the edge this game as he has been the last couple of weeks. 

    Shea McClellin: C+

    Like Wootton, McClellin did not get to the quarterback like he would have liked. He did show solid pursuit in the running game in the backfield. 

    Amobi Okoye: C

    Had a couple of tackles in rotational duty. 


Linebackers

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    Lance Briggs: B

    The penalty against him on Stafford was tough but it was still a mistake. Did a nice job knocking down a couple passes but could have done a little more in bottling up Leshoure. 

    Nick Roach: B+

    Another underrated performance by Roach who led the team in tackles again this week. 

    Geno Hayes: C-

    Hayes bit on some unnecessary pump fakes and did a poor job funneling Leshoure to the tacklers. 

Secondary

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    Charles Tillman: A

    Another outstanding game for Tillman on Calvin Johnson who did not get 2,000 yards for the season and did not catch a pass for more than 24 yards. 

    Tim Jennings: A

    The great ball hawking season came to a close for Jennings with yet another interception. 

    Kelvin Hayden: C

    Hayden didn't have to do too much in the passing game. It was stopping the run while on the field where he did a poor job. He missed a couple of tackles. 

    Major Wright: C

    There were times when Wright looked lost on the field without Conte in the passing game. 

    Anthony Walters: D

    A very tentative effort for Walters who missed a ton of tackles in the running game and was very bad in pass coverage up the middle. 

Special Teams

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    Devin Hester: D

    Hester has lost his ways when it comes to returning kicks. He is dancing around too much instead of running up the field. 

    Adam Podlesh: A

    Great job by Podlesh to help the Bears win the field position game. 

    Olindo Mare: B

    Yes he missed an easy field goal but the guy did knock through four important field goals. 

Coaching

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    Lovie Smith: C

    Smith's team was not able to put away the Lions early like they should. There was no killer instinct at all. Very questionable call in the second half to not take a holding penalty that resulted in a long drive for the Lions. 

    Mike Tice: F

    No continuity, not taking advantage of turnovers and burning time outs are all a reflection on Tice and his offense. 

    Rod Marinelli: A

    Great job by Marinelli taking Calvin Johnson out of the game again. He always preaches turnovers and got plenty. 

    Dave Toub: B-

    Whatever Toub said to Podlesh to get him going needs to be said to Hester. 

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