It's about time I gave a game ball to a player on defense.
Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson has been having a standout season, and he put forth another strong effort on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. He finished with a team-high 10 tackles, but here is the statistic that really stands out: he notched five tackles for losses. That's the complete opposite of the Andra Davis syndrome. Those five tackles for losses were as follows:
- 2nd Quarter: Stops RB Frank Gore for -3 yards
- 2nd Quarter: Stops RB Frank Gore for -1 yards (at the goal line on second down)
- 2nd Quarter: Stops RB Frank Gore for no gain (at the goal line on fourth down)
- 3rd Quarter: Stops RB Frank Gore for -1 yards
- 4th Quarter: Stops WR Ted Ginn Jr. for -8 yards (on an end-around)
He also helped bolster the Browns' run defense in the second half. Unfortunately, he committed a 15-yard facemask penalty on San Francisco's final drive of the game as he was trying to stop Gore on a third down play. That was a tough break for Cleveland after forcing so many three-and-outs in the second half.
Another strong candidate for this game ball is defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin. Did you see how many times he was down the field chasing down Gore? Or when he was penetrating into the backfield? Talk about effort.