October 31, 2010
Most people had the Detroit Lions beating the Washington Redskins as their "upset special" (though the Lions were actually favored), and that's just what happened - the Lions took care of business with a 37-25 home victory as they welcomed Matthew Stafford(notes) back to the starting lineup.
We'll be talking soon about the efforts of Detroit rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong "I could kick Chuck Norris' butt" Suh, but here's a defensive performance on the other side that's well worth watching. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall(notes) covering Lions receiver Calvin "Megatron" Johnson:
You can put a bit of the blame on Stafford for not throwing the ball higher to take advantage of Johnson's height, but credit where credit is due: Hall plays this ball about as well as it is possible to do. Hall has always been a mixed bag and an inconsistent player, but it appears as if the lights are coming on, allowing Hall to play at a different level. Megatron did catch three touchdown passes in this game, but it takes a village to give up that type of production; we can't throw all the blame at Hall's feet.
According to Football Outsiders' metrics, no cornerback has been involved in more pass plays than Hall this season, and he's providing the kind of performance needed in his role. One week after picking off four Jay Cutler(notes) passes, Hall came up big again on this play. If he can keep his head straight and his temper in check, we could be looking at a Pro Bowl-level performer.
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