Bears try to exploit cornerback weakness

McClellin had a half-sack, a tackle for a loss coming from the backside, a quarterback hit and three pressures. He also played some stand up linebacker, dropping and covering a tight end and a back.

Linebackers

Grade: 8.5

It was another strong game from Lance Briggs against the run and pass. He played instinctively and knocked the football away from Lions twice (one was a forced fumble, the other a pass breakup).

Brian Urlacher moved better than he has all season and played his best game of the year. His best play might have been a tackle for a loss of 1. Urlacher sniffed out a screen to Mikel Leshoure and played it perfectly, splitting the block attempts of two linemen to nail the running back.

Safeties

Grade: 6

Major Wright and Chris Conte usually were aligned very deep when they were in a two-man shell. They did a lot more than just play Cover-2, however. The Bears played some man free, some three deep and some man-to-man.

Wright had a chance to intercept three passes. One he clearly should have had he dropped in the end zone.

Cornerbacks

Grade: 9.5

Charles Tillman played one of the finest games of his career, limiting Calvin Johnson to three catches (he caught only 27 percent of the throws to him). He played Johnson with perfect technique and was incredibly aware of where the ball was.

Tillman also forced a pair of fumbles, but the Bears didn't benefit because the ball bounced out of bounds both times.

Special teams

Grade: 5

The special teams did not hurt the Bears, but special teams could have made a huge difference in this game. Two prime opportunities were missed.

Robbie Gould had a 47-yard field goal attempt blocked on a low kick. It appeared the snap, hold and kick all could have been better.

Most distressing was Hester inexplicably calling for a fair catch of a punt in the fourth quarter that could have been brought back for a touchdown. There wasn't a Lion within eight yards of him who wasn't being blocked, and Hester appeared to have a clear path for a long return.

dompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

CHICAGO