Oct 19, 2021

Chicago Bear Stock Exchange: Khalil Herbert is here to stay

Chicago Bear Stock Exchange: Khalil Herbert is here to stay
(USA Today Sports)

I'd say 95 percent of Chicago Bears fans were expecting the Green Bay Packers to come into Soldier Field and get a win, but it doesn't make anyone exactly feel better about what happened on Sunday. The Bears lost to the Packers 24-14, dropping to 3-3 and now they have to face the only active quarterback with a better career resume than Aaron Rodgers: Tom Brady.

As Mark Potash from the Chicago Sun Times puts it, if Rodgers "owns" the Bears, then Brady has a minority stake in them with a 5-1 career record and 105.3 passer rating. He'll also be motivated after flubbing the end of the game last year when the Bears narrowly beat the Buccaneers in primetime.

Sunday's loss was rough and this week could be worse, but there are still a handful of Bears players who have seen their stock rise, while others aren't having a great few days. Here is the latest Chicago Bears Stock Exchange to see who is rising and falling.

Rising: RB Khalil Herbert

Eddie Jackson Chicago Bears
(USA Today Sports)

Bears rookie running backs seem to have a knack for having impressive starting debuts. Anthony Thomas won rookie of the year in 2001. Matt Forte shined in his first start in primetime back in 2008. Jordan Howard effectively stole the job in his rookie season. Now Khalil Herbert has shown everyone he can be the real deal.

Herbert was the next man up this week with David Montgomery on injured reserve and backup Damien Williams being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and showed he's more than just a third-string back. The rookie had 19 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown and was the only Bears running back to carry the ball. He showed elite vision and was the catalyst for the offense. Williams will be back soon and Montgomery will also eventually return. But Herbert is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Falling: S Eddie Jackson

Eddie Jackson Chicago Bears
(USA Today Sports)

Eddie Jackson's stock was already pretty low coming into the game on Sunday. And truth be told, we've seen much worse performances from him over the last year or so. But Jackson missed an opportunity to snag an interception on a lame duck throw by Rodgers and didn't wrap up Davante Adams on a deep route where he very nearly scored a touchdown. It was already pretty rough, but then he had to log onto Twitter.

Late Sunday evening, Jackson responded to criticism by former All-Pro linebacker (and current commentator) Lance Briggs by digging up a decade-old tweet from Pro Football Focus. The tweet claimed Briggs would have led the league in missed tackles over a three-year stretch, an obvious jab at the legendary linebacker. Jackson's social media activity didn't sit well with the fans and now his stock both on and off the field is as low as ever.

Rising: TE Cole Kmet

Outside of Herbert, there wasn't anyone more consistent moving the chains for the Bears than Cole Kmet. After not seeing much action in the pass game following week one, Kmet resurfaced with four catches for 49 yards, a career-high for the young tight end.

Kmet primarily did his damage with quick, short passes, but managed to snag a 21-yard dart where he climbed the ladder, putting the Bears in the red zone. He's been plenty busy as a run blocker, but Sunday's game showed growth for him and Fields as they build their chemistry. Perhaps Kmet can be counted on moving forward as a legitimate offensive threat.

Falling: CB Jaylon Johnson

Everyone and their mother knew Sunday's matchup between Jaylon Johnson and Davante Adams would be a major key to either team's success. Johnson had long wanted to shadow Adams and got his wish as the team's undisputable CB1. But Adams showed the young corner why he's considered the top receiver in the game.

Adams caught four passes for 89 yards on five targets, two of which went for long gains that set up Green Bay touchdowns. Johnson didn't play poorly by any means and still hasn't allowed a touchdown this season, but Sunday's performance humbled him a bit and shows he still has a ways to go before being considered a true shutdown corner.

Rising: WR Jakeem Grant

Maybe parting with a future sixth-round draft pick was worth it to acquire Jakeem Grant after all. Grant started his second game with the Bears as their punt and kickoff returner since he was acquired from the Miami Dolphins. He had an uninspiring start in his debut against the Las Vegas Raiders, but brought a spark on Sunday.

Grant had three kickoff returns where he averaged 27.7 yards per return and two punt returns for 11 yards total. He would have had a better output on punts if not for an unnecessary block in the back. Grant showed the burst and speed that made him a commodity and kickstarted a stagnant portion of their game. He did leave the game briefly due to an ankle injury, but assuming he's healthy, Grant is looking like he's worth the investment.

Falling: WR Allen Robinson

It's been a very quiet season for the Bears WR1 and though he doesn't seem concerned, I kind of am. Robinson has just 21 catches for 234 yards and one touchdown this season. His numbers stretched across an entire season would total just 59 catches for 663 yards. But it's not just the numbers that are somewhat concerning, it's his chemistry with Fields.

Robinson and Fields have hooked up for a few nice plays here and there, but we've also seen growing pains. Both guys just don't seem to be on the same page, whether it's Robinson not running out the supposed "free play" on the missed penalty, or dropped passes over the last few weeks. It also looks like Robinson has been usurped by Darnell Mooney in the pecking order. Mooney has been targeted more times than Robinson in the Bears last three games. There's still time for AR12 to fire off, but he and Fields need to do some work together.

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