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Stock up, stock down: Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals - Defense bounce back

Which players are trending up and down following Chicago’s first win of the season

Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A victory week is a victory week and it’s always a reason to celebrate ‘round these parts.

The Bears opened their home slate with a nice victory over a frisky Bengals team that I have a feeling many teams might not really wanting to face down the stretch.

It was a typical Bears game at times, it felt very sloppy, offensively ugly and defensively very fun.

But the Chicago faithful finally get what they want in Justin Fields seeing full-time duties, although I would hope that none of the faithful are of the ilk to have wished for an injury.

Let’s get in to it though; who shined bright and who needs to step up after week two?

Stock up

Roquan Smith, LB - What can I say that hasn’t been said already? As I was driving back from a quick Chicago trip on Sunday afternoon, Jeff Joniak referred to Roquan as “future All-Pro linebacker” and that just feels like it’s the case. Bears Twitter has been championing Smith for two years but his time is coming. A sack, a pick six, a tackle for loss and eight tackles. What a performance. Smith is the next “pay the man!” candidate.

Jaylon Johnson, CB - His first career interceptions and four pass break ups earns him his spot, although his stock has already been up. I just have a feeling that his play is going to mean fewer and fewer targets from opposing QBs so he might not get much shine the rest of the season.

Khalil Mack, OLB - I debated about whether Mack or Quinn should get my third spot, but I think that Quinn’s penalties knocked him down a little despite turning in back-to-back games with sacks. Mack, on the other hand, was just good overall. He created pressure and sacks for teammates (look at Bilal Nichols’ sack) and had a sack of his own. More of this Mack please.

Stock down

Duke Shelley, CB - The corners that aren’t Johnson are going to get a lot of flack all season long, it appears. Shelley, according to Pro-Football-Reference was targeted seven times, gave up six receptions for 72 yards and a 109.5 rating.

Sam Mustipher, C - Center is quickly becoming an issue for the Bears, again. The offensive line guys I trust (shoutout Lester, JB and EJ) were bringing up Mustipher most of the offseason as a concern spot but I thought “he seemed OK last year, let’s just see what happens.” Sunday proved they were correct. He might be an OK backup but center is going to be a problem all year if that is his level of play. Pressure up the middle is very disrupting, even for mobile QBs like Justin Fields and messes up the run game.

Allen Robinson, WR - Is this a bit of a cheap one? Maybe, but a receiver of Robinson’s caliber, who has (rightly, I admit) wanted a big contract and has had his own agent taking open shots at the Bears on Twitter, has to catch that touchdown pass. It was a near-perfect ball and it just went right through his hands. I am sure Robinson is going to beat himself up over it, but that was a glaring error. His touchdown in the first quarter was good though, but overall I have become used to more than two catches and 24 yards on four targets from Robinson.

Is there someone I missed? Who do you have in each category?