Bears-Browns grades: Linebackers

Bears-Browns grades: Linebackers
December 16, 2013, 9:00 am
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The Cleveland Browns were far from an elite offense (15th in yardage, 27th in rush average, but 10th in passing average). But they were the only team playing the Bears on Sunday, and lesser teams have done major damage to the Bears’ defense, which ultimately allowed the Cleveland offense just 17 points.

The Browns did do some early to the Bears. Coverage on a Cleveland screen pass in the first quarter that netted 44 yards was abysmal, with no linebacker in the vicinity at the time or as the play progressed downfield.

But the group recovered to deliver impact plays and eventually achieved something of a standoff with the Browns’ offense. James Anderson was credited with a game-high 11 tackles, plus a hit on quarterback Jason Campbell and a pass deflection as well as adding to pressures on Campbell.

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Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene combined for a TFL to help end one Cleveland drive, although the credit went just to Bostic, who had five solo tackles. Greene contributed four total.

The defense was stung by third-quarter runs that included  an 18-yard sprint by tight end MarQueis Gray Gray out of a wildcat formation. Campbell also escaped for a 17-yard scramble in the quarter and passes to running back Edwin Baker were costly.

“That’s been the main thing we’ve been focusing on as a defense, stopping the run and playing consistently,” Bostic said. “We’ve been playing more consistently but we’ve still got a lot of stuff to clean up.

“It may be a little thing here or there, but it’s the little things that add up to big things.”

Moon's Grade: B-