Week 9 Bears grades: Defensive line

Week 9 Bears grades: Defensive line
November 5, 2013, 2:15 am
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Bears Week 9 Grades

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The Packers were able to run on the Bears more than they should have, given the absence of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing offense for the most part. But Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers combined for the best game this season by Bears defensive ends.

[REPORT: Rodgers suffers broken collarbone]

McClellin, who finished with three sacks, three quarterback hits and two tackles for loss, ended Green Bay’s first possession and possibly its season with a sack of Aaron Rodgers that injured Rodgers’ shoulder. Rodgers was flushed by pressure from Peppers, who came out attacking Green Bay left tackle David Bakhtiari with a variety of rushes.

“Rodgers likes to roll out to the right a lot,” McClellin said. “We knew that coming in and there was a pocket, so I came back and got the sack.”

[RELATED: Trestman takes season-altering gamble in win over Packers]

McClellin failed to get off right tackle Don Barclay’s block to seal a gap that resulted in a 56-yard Eddie Lacy. And the line shares the responsibility for the Packers' 190 rushing yards and two touchdowns from the running backs.

But McClellin was credited with five tackles and also sacked Seneca Wallace on a third down in the fourth quarter to end a drive.

Peppers went one better on Green Bay’s second possession, getting his hands up to tip a Wallace pass and picking it off to set the offense up at the Green Bay 45.

“It was a check from a run to a ‘smoke’ screen out to the wide receiver,” Peppers said. “It was just reaction, instinct.”

Peppers picked up a pursuit sack of Wallace in the second quarter, with McClellin adding to the hurry. Peppers added a fourth-quarter deflection to end a Packers series to finish with two deflections to go with the interception and two tackles.

Corey Wootton sacked Wallace on the game’s next-to-last play, did a creditable performance of his “Robot” sack dance, and added two tackles, one for loss.

Grade: A-