The collective stock of the Chicago Bears is in the toilet this week after another frustrating loss leaves them at 0-2 to start the year. The Bears couldn’t stop Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, losing 27-17 with very few answers on either side of the ball.
Despite playing a closer game on the road, the Bears are still looking for those standout performers to make themselves known on a consistent basis. Some players did exceed expectations last Sunday, while others were put through the ringer.
Here is our Chicago Bears Stock Exchange heading into Week 3 of the season.
Stock up: WR D.J. Moore
It took a week longer than it should have, but wide receiver D.J. Moore finally became a focal point of the offense. And good things happened! Moore was targeted multiple times on the Bears’ opening possession, totaling two catches for 64 yards that set up a Justin Fields rushing touchdown.
When the Bears went back to Moore, the offense once again was successful. He was targeted multiple times on the team’s other touchdown drive, finishing the day with six grabs for 104 yards on seven targets. He should continue seeing the most targets on a weekly basis, no matter what.
Stock down: T Braxton Jones
It’s safe to say offensive tackle Braxton Jones hasn’t had the best sophomore year. Jones struggled with penalties through two weeks of the season, committing five in total, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s nearly half of his 2022 total, and Week 3 isn’t even here yet. The pre-snap infractions and holds on the line have cost the Bears valuable field position.
The issues with Jones are primarily due to penalties, but there’s some room for improvement when it comes to his blocking. He’s allowing pressure more frequently and looks overmatched at times. That was apparent last week against the Buccaneers when he was getting pushed into the quarterback at times. To make matters worse, Jones was put on injured reserve due to a neck injury on Wednesday. His season is now up in the air, and it could end even before it really gets going.
Stock up: DT Andrew Billings
It’s still early in the season, but general manager Ryan Poles may have found a gem with veteran Andrew Billings. The defensive tackle was a force to be reckoned with last weekend against Tampa, registering six pressures alone and blowing up the interior of the offensive line on both running and passing plays. Even more impressive? Those six pressures came on just 13 passing plays.
Billings is a massive human being, listed at 6-foot-1 and 311 pounds, but the man has speed to his game too. He’s quick off the line and can change direction faster than you think. Billings joined the Bears as an unheralded free agent but is proving he’s far more valuable than initially thought. He’s not giving up his playing time to one of the rookie defensive tackles anytime soon.
Stock down: RB D'Onta Foreman
It was only a matter of time until running back D’Onta Foreman received the Mike Davis treatment. But it’s surprising to see it happen in just Week 2 of the season. Foreman signed with the Bears as the veteran replacement for David Montgomery before the team drafted Roschon Johnson in the fourth round.
Johnson turned heads quickly and has already overtaken Foreman, who may not have a spot on this team going forward. He was a healthy scratch against the Buccaneers after logging five carries in Week 1. His stock is as low as it has been in well over a year.
Stock up: WR Chase Claypool
Chase Claypool had as bad of a week as anyone following his poor effort against the Packers. How did he respond? By scoring a touchdown for the first time in 11 months and showing he can be a willing blocker when he wants to be
The Bears got Claypool going in the passing game, and it paid off. He had three catches for 36 yards, including a beautiful 20-yard touchdown grab in between two defenders. His effort in the run-blocking game was also evident, as Claypool was physical and sought out contact to keep the chains moving. It wasn’t perfect by any means, especially considering he had the wrong play call on the play just before the pick-six, but his stock is much better than it was a week ago. It couldn’t have gotten worse, though.
Stock down: G Cody Whitehair
Braxton Jones may have gotten the headlines for his miscues last week, but it’s pretty clear guard Cody Whitehair is the weakest link in the line up to this point. Whitehair allowed four pressures last Sunday, including one sack, and looked like an aging interior lineman who is well past his prime.
Sadly, this isn’t new for Whitehair. There were issues with his play last year at the exact same position, and there was talk the Bears might part ways with him and his bloated contract. Perhaps if and when he moves back to center, things will improve, but right now, Whitehair is a liability at left guard. And that’s a problem when you have a quarterback who isn’t performing well in the pocket.
Stock down: CB Tyrique Stevenson
Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson is going through it just two weeks into the season. Opposing offenses are targeting him early and often as the weakest link in the secondary and are producing results. Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans torched Stevenson all day, and Tampa targeted him specifically on third downs. It was a learning experience for sure, and that doesn’t mean he’ll stay down for long.
Stevenson went through a baptism by fire like Kyler Gordon did last year to start his career. In Week 2 of the 2022 season, Gordon was picked on by then-Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and surrendered many big plays. He rebounded, though, and finished the year on a high note. The same can happen for Stevenson, but he has to get there.