Bears grades vs. Packers: Defensive line

Bears grades vs. Packers: Defensive line
December 30, 2013, 12:00 am
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Moon's Week 17 Grades

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End Julius Peppers delivered a number of major-impact plays, including four solo tackles, but had little to show for them ultimately, though not through any fault of his.

Peppers sacked Aaron Rodgers and caused a fumble that linebacker James Anderson ignored, assuming an incompletion, but which Green Bay receiver Jarrett Boykin picked up and took into the end zone for a touchdown. Peppers also got a hand on Rodgers on the Packers’ winning TD pass. Peppers dove to beat a cut block by fullback John Kuhn, who got enough of Peppers to help Rodgers escape to his left and then find Randall Cobb for a 48-yard touchdown.

[MORE: Bears failures end season in loss to Packers]

Shea McClellin was called for roughness on Rodgers, a bizarre call with the defensive end just going over the top when he was already in motion for a tackle.

“[The official} just said that he was already going down,” McClellin said. “So…”

The infraction was such that it appeared to be more a case of officials protecting one of the NFL’s elite players rather than actual late-hitting.

“I can’t…I’m not going to comment on that,” said coach Marc Trestman. “It’s a subjective opinion by the officials. We all saw it. I’ll just leave it at that.”

End David Bass got both penetration and containment to help force Aaron Rodgers to scramble farther and faster than he’d planned on what became a first-quarter interception in the Chicago end zone.

[RELATED: Two plays resonate in Trestman's mind after loss to Packers]

But the Packers were able to run for 160 yards and had four drives 70 yards or longer. Tackle Landon Cohen was blown out of his gap on James Stark’s 41-yard run in the third quarter, leading to a touchdown, and others on the defensive line were not consistent filling gaps or making tackles of runners that appeared to have been stopped.

“We had chances to stop them,” said nose tackle Stephen Paea. “It came down to the last play and the we didn’t do our job to stop them…We didn’t finish and that was our mistake.”

Moon's Grade: D