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Lions vs. Bears stock report: 8 risers, 6 fallers after loss in Chicago

A look at which Detroit Lions are on the rise and which are falling after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bears.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

What an ugly, ugly game. Hard to believe the Detroit Lions are 9-4 after a performance like this, but they are, so at least that’s waiting for us on Monday. But for now, some harsh realities:

Stock down: Alex Anzalone, LB

Stats: 9 tackles

Alex Anzalone was missed while he was out with injury in Week 13. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like the Lions got Alex Anzalone back in Week 14. Anzalone was around the ball early and often, but not for the right reasons. He missed an early easy wrap up on D’Onta Foreman and decided twice to flirt with late hits, the second one getting him flagged for a personal foul. That paired nicely with his defensive holding call on the same drive.

By the end of the second drive, the Lions subbed out Anzalone for Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and we’d see less of Anzalone for the rest of the half. He came back with a vengeance in the second half, introducing himself to Khalil Herbert with a thumping hit. While Anzalone’s second half was much more solid, he was still a huge reason for the Lions’ early deficit due to mistakes uncharacteristic of him. The Lions are better when Anzalone is better, so they’ll need to see more of the Anzalone they saw in the second half.

Stock up: John Cominsky, EDGE

Stats: 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hits

Welcome back, Mr. Commish! After entering Week 14 with just 15 tackles on the season, Cominksy would light up the stat sheet against the Bears. He provided a complementary pass rush to Aidan Hutchinson to help revive the defense in the second quarter. Cominsky had some impressive tackles, too, including a nice open-field tackle of Justin Fields midway through the second quarter.

The Lions often seem to be just one pass-rusher away from a much better defense, and John Cominsky was that pass rusher on Sunday.

Stock neutral: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE

Stats: 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 passes defended, 2 QB hits

Hutchinson was trending firmly downwards well into the second quarter of this game. Much like last week, he was getting thrown around in run defense, except this time by the likes of RB Roschon Johnson and TE Cole Kmet. He whiffed on what looked like a safety and Justin Fields turned it into a 30-yard run instead.

Something clicked midway through the second quarter, and magic happened. Hutch was suddenly closing in on Justin Fields and finishing the job too, which the entire defense struggled with early. He was shooting off the ball in run defense, and led the turnaround of the entire defense.

Unfortunately for Hutchinson, his luck would run out. At the end of the third quarter, Hutchinson jumped offsides on fourth-and-13, giving the Bears offense a free play that led to a touchdown.

It’s promising to see Hutchinson notch just his second sack in the last eight games, and he did a lot of good with his two tipped passes. However, the good came with a lot of bad Sunday, so he stays even on the day.

Stock down: Jared Goff, QB

Stats: 20/35, 161 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Sunday was the kind of game from Goff that makes you want to throw out any talk of a contract extension. Goff was lucky that Ben Johnson was creative enough to stretch the Bears defense horizontally, because there was absolutely nothing going on vertically. Goff had a couple nice tight-window throws in the first quarter, but it all went downhill from there. Tight windows turned into reckless near-INTs reminiscent of the first time these teams met this year.

The kicker was when, on fourth-and-17 in the fourth quarter, Goff did a full windup in a clean pocket and couldn’t even get the ball to Amon-Ra St. Brown at the sticks. Unserious behavior for an NFL quarterback.

Goff is in for a loooong few weeks with Brian Flores scheming against him.

Stock down: Derrick Barnes, LB

Stats: 6 tackles, 1 QB hit

Barnes didn’t look good the first couple drives, with his lowlight coming on a blown contain assignment that allowed Justin Fields to get to the edge for a long run. That’s fundamental linebacker play, the kind I knocked Jack Campbell for just a couple weeks ago, and Campbell’s a rookie. From a veteran like Barnes, especially a guy whose specialty is run defense, I hope for much better. The rest of the game was better, but this was a critical piece of the Bears’ early lead.

Stock up: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB

Stats: 11 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD

Gibbs continues to show tremendous vision out of the backfield whether it’s an interior run or a toss play or a third-and-long dump-off. To make things even better, Gibbs uses that space to showcase his breakaway speed, something the Lions haven’t had in many years out of their backfield. Among several of his medium-distance runs, Gibbs put together a 36-yard dash to match his career long.

Look how much faster Gibbs looks compared to everyone else on screen once he hits full throttle on this touchdown run:

Ben Johnson has found ways to give Gibbs these opportunities to accelerate on a runway, and I’d love to see Johnson use that same creativity to get similar opportunities for Jamo to showcase his speed some more.

Stock up: Aaron Glenn, DC

Believe me, I did not think we were trending this way after the first couple of drives. However, for the first time in what seems like forever, Glenn made in-game adjustments to correct course, and they worked.

Glenn realized that the run-centric package of Benito Jones and Isaiah Buggs that we saw through much of the first quarter wasn’t working to contain Justin Fields. He switched things up, most notably bringing in John Cominsky on the interior, and brought lots of blitzes from the second level to take away Fields’ time before he could scramble. It was the right move, and stagnated the Bears offense for much of the afternoon.

It wasn’t perfect, and this is a stock up relative to a very, very low bar that Glenn has established in recent weeks. But it was a step in the right direction.

Quick Hits

Stock up

Ifeatu Melifonwu, S: Melifonwu stepped in to start in place of Tracy Walker, which would have been an insane sentence to hear two years ago. Melifonwu held his own all day and was strong in run support, and continues to show growth over the past year.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB: Reeves-Maybin commemorated his 100th career game by proving last week’s showing wasn’t a fluke. JRM had a crucial sack on the second drive when he came in for the struggling Alex Anzalone, and ended another drive in the third quarter with a PBU.

Ben Johnson, OC: Johnson struck the perfect balance of getting creative without getting too cute on Sunday. He strung out the Bears defense horizontally, and spread the ball around to just about everyone. It was critical to masking a vertically contained passing attack by the Lions.

Jack Fox, P: Punter tackle!

Romeo Okwara, EDGE: Okwara’s blocked PAT was huge for the Lions keeping an edge late in the game instead of threatening overtime.

Stock down

Jake McQuaide, LS: McQuaide’s errant snap led to a miss on the first PAT of the day.

Dan Campbell, HC: This is the second time this year Campbell has made a really questionable challenge attempt that seemed more about vibes than what the replay actually showed.

Kerby Joseph, S: For the second straight week, Joseph seems to always find himself a step too late in coverage. Whether it’s getting beat or playing way too far off the receiver, it’s becoming a concerning trend.

Stock neutral

Jerry Jacobs, CB: Jacobs keeps being asked to cover opposing teams’ WR1. He’s not a CB1. The Lions simply don’t have the personnel to compensate, and too often Jacobs is left on an island looking like the man to blame as a result.

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