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The stock needle for the Cincinnati Bengals points down after the team’s loss against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.
A 20-17 outcome saw key players undergo massive shifts in the stock department due to their performances on the road.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest stock movers for the Bengals as they start to regroup and get ready for a Week 3 encounter with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Stock up: WR Tyler Boyd
Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) makes a catch against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
After a quiet opener, Boyd was one of Burrow's favorite targets in Chicago. He was the only consistent thing the offense could find in key situations like third downs, finishing the day with seven catches for 73. Not an overly attractive line, but the workmanlike stuff onlookers should expect from one of the game's better slot wideouts.
Stock down: The offensive line
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The line is a mess, plain and simple. The tackle play isn't horrendous, but there are severe communication issues just like last year. There were multiple instances of Chicago not sending any extra bodies on a blitz, yet an unblocked guy got through for a sack. It's an unacceptable state of things in any offense, let alone in one trying to protect a franchise passer back early on a surgically repaired knee.
Stock up: D.J. Reader
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end D.J. Reader (98) celebrates a sack in the second quarter of the NFL Week 2 game between the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. The Bears led 7-0 at halftime.
Cincinnati Bengals At Chicago Bears
Reader looks back in prime form and like the guy the Bengals paid up huge to get last year. He was a force in the trenches all day, creating openings for other guys to get sacks and even got one of his own.
Stock down: Zac Taylor
Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor reacts after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals were 0-19 under Taylor when trailing after three quarters. That's now 0-20 as an offense with Higgins, Boyd, Mixon, Chase and others, plus Burrow under center, couldn't score more than three points for most of the game. The offensive schematic approach was bad to start the game and never really improved and it often hung Burrow out to dry with endless hits.
Stock up: Trey Hendrickson
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson (91) celebrates a stop in the first quarter of the NFL Week One game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. The Bengals led 14-7 at halftime.
Minnesota Vikings At Cincinnati Bengals
Hendrickson also started looking like the guy the Bengals paid up big for this offseason in free agency. He was a terror last week but didn't really hit the stat sheet -- that changed in Chicago pretty dramatically with his 1.5 sacks.
Stock down: Joe Burrow
Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Some, if not most of this is on Taylor. But Burrow never really looked comfortable from the start in Chicago. The three interceptions in as many attempts was brutal, of course, as was the pick that went back for a touchdown. But he also had some smaller issues worth highlighting -- like his high-tailing it back to attempt to stop the touchdown return and putting his body at risk. Like the rest of the offense and coaches, he needs to dial it back, go slower and regroup. That might explain why he threw two consecutive touchdowns after the three picks.