clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Stock up, stock down: Bears-Panthers

The Bears moved to 5-1 but since it’s Chicago and we can’t enjoy nice thing, we still have plenty to complain about

Chicago Bears v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It’s never a bad thing when you’re a winning NFL team and those teams need not apologize for how their schedule worked out.

There aren’t style points in the NFL but somehow that appears to be what the national media is looking for out of Chicago.

With that being said though, it’s hard to imagine any Chicago faithful out there that wouldn’t admit this is a flawed team, more specifically, a flawed offense.

The biggest issue is the offensive line. Already struggling and now down a starter, this unit just cannot open running lanes with any consistency, even against below average units. It happened last year and even with staff changes, it’s a theme this year.

Sure, they started strong, but they’ve regressed back to where they’ve been. Compound that with a less-mobile quarterback at the helm and offensive line is quickly shooting up the Bears’ draft board as a need.

As long as they keep winning, I’m not sure too many people are going to be upset. We’ll know a lot more about this team after their next three, but for now let’s take one more look back.

Stock up

DeAndre Houston-Carson - DHC is in his fifth season in Chicago and has anyone ever noticed him outside of special teams? That’s not a knock, I think it’s pretty clear that I, like many Bears fans, value the third phase, but Houston-Carson has had his role and done it well. In each of the first four years of his career, Houston-Carson has played less than five percent of the defensive snaps, including totaling zero percent last year (three total snaps in 16 games). This year he’s played only five percent of the snaps but in back-to-back games he’s come up clutch with a pass deflection to end the Bucs’ threat and then his first career interception to seal the dub in Carolina.

Mario Edwards Jr. - I honestly thought of Edwards as an after thought of a signing, but five games into the year he’s every bit a rotational player, filing the role of Aaron Lynch a year ago or Nick Williams. He’s been getting good, consistent pressure and making his presence known. Even if he’s getting help from being surrounded by more talented players, he taking advantage of opportunities when they’re there, which is something that couldn’t always be said of former Bear Leonard Floyd.

Cole Kmet - Let’s give the kid some praise. It wasn’t much, but when you’re five games into the season and have only three targets and you’re the team’s highest draft pick, well the head scratching starts. Kmet caught both his targets, including his first career touchdown. Could it be a sign of more to come? It depends on a player in the next section...

Stock down

Demetrius Harris - Harris has five catches on 11 targets so far this year and Sunday was an especially bad performance. He missed on all three of his targets and did not do a great job blocking, specifically on the failed flea flicker. If Harris isn’t going to capitalize on his chances, look for Kmet’s role to grow a little more.

Charles Leno Jr. - Really I could have either tackle here or any lineman other than Cody Whitehair, really. Is there a bigger contract extension regret by Pace than the one he gave Leno? I don’t know what happened, but 2018 seems like it was the best we were ever going to see from Leno and it just is bad every week now.

Jaylon Johnson - Look, the pass interference call was iffy, but he did have the receiver’s hands pinned under his armpit and that is going to get called more often than not. Like all fans I’ve heard from, I have no issues with how Johnson has performed, so I’m chalking this more up to an expected “he looks like a rookie” game than anything because overall he was still really good (including causing the first interception). The stock might be down, but we’re talking like half a point, not a free-fall.

How did I do this week? Who did I miss? Who stood out good and bad to you?