Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Cornerback Report Card

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Chris Houston

Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams (83) misses a catch against Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston (23) during 2nd half of a game at Ford Field. Lions won 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports


Houston is coming off a stellar game against the Dallas Cowboys, easily his best all year. But aside from that, he has been sporadic at best. He has only one interception this year, and that was the result of an ill-advised back-foot throw by Robert Griffin III as he was being chased out of bounds. He gets his hands on a few passes, but he also gets beat deep more often than he should.

Grade: C-


Houston’s impact against Dallas was unmistakable. He effectively took away half the field for the entire game. He’s a huge reason Tony Romo completed only 14/30 passes despite inconsistent pass rush pressure.

But then, he also gave up an 82-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green the week before. So that’s pretty much been his season; extremely good or bad play. Rarely anything in between.

Grade: C

Vs. Expectations

Houston signed a $25 million contract in free agency because he had improved every season he’d played in Detroit. That streak looks like it’s coming to an end.

Still, Houston isn’t playing abysmal football. Maybe that Dallas game is a precursor to a much stronger second half.

Grade: D+


Through eight games, Houston has been a slight disappointment, but he’s still a hugely important part of the Lions’ defense. He’s had some rough stretches this year, and he needs to stop biting on double-moves so hard, but the Lions’ secondary would be in far, far worse shape without him.

Grade: B+