Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is getting some national recognition for his lockdown performance Monday night against the Detroit Lions. Not only has the NFL named him its NFC defensive player of the week, but ESPN.com's Mike Sando has included Tillman for the first time in his weekly MVP Watch post.
The chances of a cornerback winning the MVP, Tillman or anyone else, are remote. And we've already noted on several occasions how well fellow Bears cornerback Tim Jennings is playing. But the Bears know their personnel best. And when it came time to match someone on the Lions' Calvin Johnson, there was no hesitation who that would be.
Tillman got some help from the Bears' safeties, of course, but in the end Johnson caught only three of the 11 passes the Lions threw his way. It was only the third time in 24 games that Johnson had been held under four catches. Tillman also forced another two fumbles, bringing his total to three during a season in which he also has two interception returns for touchdowns.
You could make an argument for several Bears defenders in this context, including Jennings and linebacker Lance Briggs. No one stands out dramatically from the others. But I'm glad to see that people are realizing, albeit late in his career, that Tillman is one of the NFL's top defenders.