CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 13: Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears greets fans after a win against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
They said this defense was getting old. They said this defense wasn't built to attack people. They said the Cornerbacks weren't asked to cover, and gave too much cushion. Charles Tillman had something to say about that.
When you have as dominant a performance as the Bears defense and special teams had against the Lions, it's tough to pick just one guy to give the game ball to. Honorable mentions abound. Devin Hester? Yeah, he took one to the house (on a bad ankle with strep throat), but we sort of expect that. Major Wright? Yeah, he had a pick-6, but hell, the ball was thrown right to him. Julius Peppers and Tim Jennings both forced fumbles, but that's not quite enough...
No, this week's game ball goes to Peanut Tillman. Oft criticized (and sometimes rightfully so) at WCG for slipping and falling, #33 had a fantastic game against arguably the most monstrous receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson. Playing straight man on Johnson most of the night, Tillman was able to limit Johnson's big-play explosiveness. The crowning achievement came when Tillman handled Johnson off the line of scrimmage, played physically within the five yards allowed, then shrugged Megatron to jump a pass, and weave his way back to the end zone for the defensive touchdown, the second of the quarter. This interception so frustrated Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that Stafford didn't even bother to go try and tackle him.
Congrats, Peanut! And anyone willing to argue it--DJ Moore is coming after you.