Sep 21, 2021

Chicago Bears Stock Exchange: Roquan Smith is everywhere

Chicago Bears Stock Exchange: Roquan Smith is everywhere

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Even when they wind up being victorious, the Chicago Bears never make things easy on their fans. What seemed like a sure-fire win Sunday turned into a nailbiter faster than it takes to dip a beef sandwich. Fortunately, the Bears held on against the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 to earn their first "W" of the season.

There were quite a few players responsible for the victory that saw their stock skyrocket. Others, however, are on the other side of things as of now. But like the actual stock market, we're sure to see a lot of movement throughout the season. Here are the players and individuals making moves in this week's Β Chicago Bears Stock Exchange.

πŸ“ˆ LB Roquan Smith

If you thought Roquan Smith was elite last season, we may need to come up with a new adjective to describe him in 2021. The young linebacker continues to add to an already impressive resume by having a career day on Sunday. Smith led the team in tackles with eight, while also registering a sack and getting his first pick-six ever. He may be off the national radar for now as he doesn't get nearly enough credit, but he's not going to be a secret for much longer. Smith balled out and shows no signs of letting up.

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Roquan Smith Chicago Bears
(USA Today Sports)

πŸ“‰ RB Damien Williams

Every time Damien Williams touches the ball, I think back to Super Bowl LIV when he nearly won the game MVP award. Of course, that was a long time ago. Back then, COVID-19 was just a minor nuisance, I was 15 pounds lighter, and Williams was an impactful runner. Not so much right now. The former Kansas City Chief totaled four yards on as many touches. He didn't have much burst and is clearly a notch or two below David Montgomery. I wouldn't be surprised if rookie back Khalil Herbert stole a few snaps from Williams soon.

πŸ“ˆ OT Jason Peters

When Jason Peters exited Week 1's game against the Rams, I honestly wasn't sure when we would see him again. Would he be able to come back at 39 years old? Turns out he would and he put up a very solid performance while not missing a snap. He was active on Sunday, flattening defenders and doing a good job of keeping his quarterbacks upright. Peters also ranks inside Pro Football Focus' top 10 tackles through two games. If he can stay healthy, he might be better than we all initially thought when he was signed in August.

πŸ“‰ TE Jimmy Graham

Kind of hard to be falling after his stock was already low, right Brendan? You'd think so but it's that bad for Jimmy Graham right now. After only having one catch while playing 14 snaps in week one, Graham couldn't even muster a target in week two. What's worse, he missed a crucial block that would have sent Justin Fields right to the endzone on a run. Though he did see an uptick in snaps this week (22) he somehow did less with more. Graham will eventually get his token red zone touchdown but even that won't be enough to salvage his cap hit. And speaking of that, this is your regular reminder that the Bears chose to keep him over someone like Kyle Fuller.

πŸ“ˆ OLB Robert Quinn

Somebody pinch me because Robert Quinn might actually be living up to his bloated contract he signed last offseason. OK, he needs to do a lot more but this is an encouraging start! After having just two sacks all last year, Quinn already has 1.5 through two games. He also has two tackles for loss, two more than he had in 2020. Quinn will likely never fully earn the $30 million he was guaranteed, but this is certainly progress after he was MIA for much of last year.

πŸ“‰ WR Damiere Byrd

When the Bears signed speedsters like Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd, we knew there were going to be too many mouths to feed in this offense. Let's face it, the Bears aren't exactly known for their WR3 and WR4 producing on a consistent basis. So through two weeks, it's Byrd who has gotten the short end of the stick. The former Patriot has just 3 catches for 19 yards in two games and is clearly behind Goodwin, Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Cole Kmet in the pecking order. He might see some more action in four-receiver sets, but Byrd is an afterthought at this point in the season.

πŸ“ˆ DC Sean Desai

I've mentioned a few players on defense already, but let's just make it easy and say Sean Desai had himself a great game. The defensive coordinator dialed up a blistering gameplan against Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and saw his unit take the ball away four straight times. He even received the game ball from head coach Matt Nagy after the win. In addition to Smith and Quinn, guys like Khalil Mack, Bilal Nichols, Eddie Jackson, and Jaylon Johnson all had their names called out consistently. Desai has to be feeling good after the Week 1 fiasco.

πŸ“‰ QB Justin Fields

Don't freak out everyone, just hear me out on this. The hype surrounding Justin Fields since he was drafted has been extremely high. If he had an actual stock price, it would have just kept going up and up as the summer and preseason progressed. Last week, it peaked following his debut and first score. Now after finally getting some extended playing time, Fields didn't exactly light it up. He had some moments, but was 6-for-13 with 60 yards and a pick. A few passes were dropped and he should have had a better day on the ground, but his stock did take a hit. Hey, sometimes Amazon takes a tumble but it doesn't mean they aren't valuable. Fields has a prime opportunity to see his stock soar, though, as he's likely to get the starting nod with Andy Dalton dealing with his knee injury. Buy low if you can because he's going to skyrocket soon enough.

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