Detroit Lions Week 10 report card: Lions complete the comeback in Chicago
By Zach Payne
Run defense: 1/5 stars
Chicago ran the ball 31 times for 258 yards on Sunday, averaging a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry. Detroit simply had no answers for anything the Bears did on the ground for most of the game.
The read option in particular gave the Lions fits all day. They couldn’t contain Justin Fields, and they couldn’t get enough push up the middle to halt the running backs. What resulted was a number of runs which gashed the defensive front. Fields in particular generated multiple big-time runs, including a 67-yard touchdown run. Mobile quarterbacks continue to be this defense’s kryptonite.
Pass defense: 4/5 stars
The benefit of playing a young quarterback like Fields is he’s still finding his way as a passer. Chicago doesn’t put too much on his shoulders in the passing game. For that reason, Detroit mostly had a good game defending the pass. There were a few notable exceptions due to miscommunications in the secondary, but for the most part it was good.
The pass rush also had a good game generating pressure. However, due to Fields’ mobility and ability to break tackles, converting those pressures to sacks was an issue. However, the defensive line was able to get Fields on the ground on the final drive when it mattered the most to clinch the win.
Best defensive player: CB Jeff Okudah
Honorable mention goes to Aidan Hutchinson, as both he and Okudah stepped up in big ways on Sunday. However, Okudah is gets the nod here for his performance.
It didn’t matter if it was defending the run or playing coverage, Okudah was playing his best football. Anytime the Bears ran the ball outside, Okudah displayed some excellent technique as he used his length to shed blocks from receivers. His physicality also played a big role in run defense. Obviously his biggest play was the pick-six in the fourth quarter, but Okudah played his best from start to finish on Sunday.
Worst defensive player: S Kerby Joseph
A week after being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Joseph was served a reminder he is still a rookie with much to learn. There were two plays in particular that Joseph looked really bad on, both of Cole Kmet’s touchdowns.
On the first, Joseph bit on a fake block by Kmet, allowing the Bears’ tight end to slip into the end zone for an easy touchdown. One the second, Joseph didn’t read Mike Hughes passing the route off to him, resulting in another easy touchdown for 50 yards. Those types of lapses happened more frequently against the Bears than they had been the rest of the season. Sunday was a big learning experience for the rookie safety.