Widely known as the best route-runner in the NFL, the matchup — at least one paper — had the potential to be a disaster. That’s no offense to Stevenson. He’s a rookie still cutting his teeth in the league going up against a top-five wideout.
However, Stevenson set the tone early that he was not about to let Adams have his way. On a key third-and-four at the Bears’ 23-yard line, the rookie corner batted away a pass intended for Adams. The Raiders would miss the 41-yard field goal on the next play.
Stevenson finished the day with a season-high three pass deflections and six tackles in the Bears’ first home win at Soldier Field in over a calendar year. More importantly, he and the Bears defense kept Adams out of the endzone.
“He did well,” head coach Matt Eberflus said. “Tyrique is a young corner, so he’s going to continue to grow. This matchup was obviously a big matchup. He wasn’t matched on him the whole time, but he was some, and again, he’ll learn from that.
“He’s going to play against a lot of really good receivers this year, and the important part of being a rookie is just to keep learning. You know, take that, put it in your file and learn for the next time you play that particular player because it’s all about the one-on-ones and all about the matchups out there.”
Stevenson has had his learning moments this season, for sure. On Sunday, the rookie was flagged for a defensive pass interference on a second-and-25, leading to the Raiders’ first points.
In seven games this season, the 23-year-old has allowed 324 yards on a 69.7 percent completion rate and a 140.7 quarterback rating. On the surface, those are not great numbers.
But considering he’s started every game in his rookie year, you have to take the good with the bad. On Sunday, it was more good than bad, which, in turn, will be a confidence booster for the young corner going forward.
“Gave me the confidence that I can go out there and play, I can go out there and cover a veteran like Davante (Adams),” said Stevenson following the game. “It added to my confidence, and I feel like it added to the team confidence.”