The down-linemen didn’t grace the stat sheet in dramatic fashion but were the obvious starting point for controlling Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and disrupting the basic game plans of coach Lovie Smith.
Eddie Goldman was in on a sack of former Florida State teammate Jameis Winston when he delivered a thunderous rush over rookie right guard Ali Marpet, the sack going to Pernell McPhee when Goldman blew up the play with his rush and forced Winston to pull the ball down as McPhee arrived.
Goldman had to be helped off the field and was carted to the locker room after a third-quarter play, reported as an ankle injury. The rookie nose tackle left the locker room with his right ankle in a walking cast.
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The defense spent heavy snaps in nickel personnel, meaning that Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, listed as linebackers, worked primarily as de facto defensive ends. Two of Young’s three tackles were for losses and Houston added one TFL. Both were in on Winston following a poor shotgun snap in the middle of the fourth quarter, forcing a long field-goal try that missed and left the Bears with a two-score lead and momentum.
Will Sutton was able to knock down a Winston pass in the first quarter.
Moon's Grade: B