Has Chicago Bears rookie Terell Smith looked better than Tyrique Stevenson?

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The Chicago Bears got Tyrique Stevenson back after missing week 12 due to a foot injury. One game and the bye week was enough time for him to return, although he did not play 100% of the defensive snaps. 

The Chicago Bears may want to get a longer look at Terell Smith

Stevenson played 47 snaps, but rookie Terell Smith played 18 snaps. Smith has had to spot-start multiple times this year, including in place of Stevenson against the Vikings. It was only a small showing, but it is worth noting that Smith looked better than Stevenson in those 18 snaps. 

Without a wide receiver on the outside, the Lions decided to stick Sam LaPorta on the outside and match him up against Tyrique Stevenson, almost signaling that Stevenson was the weak link. La Porta caught a touchdown. When Smith was in, this was not as much of an issue. 

Stevenson has 433 snaps, while Smith has 166 snaps in coverage, so the comparison is not completely fair. However, Stevenson is allowing 1.29 yards per snap and 6.88 yards per target. Meanwhile, Smith is at 1.10 yards per snap and 6.74 yards per target. Smith allows 2.11 yards after the catch per reception, while Stevenson is at 3.65. A lot of that came from Mike Evans, though, who Smith did not face. 

On top of that, Stevenson has a 117 passer rating allowed while Smith has an 89. A lot of that is eight touchdowns allowed by Stevenson to one by Smith. 

Lastly, Stevenson allows 70% of his targets to be completed, while Smith is at 67%. To be fair, Stevenson had an 11% forced incompletion rate, while Smith's was at 7%. 

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Still, as a run defender, Smith has a 5% stop rate, while Stevenson is at 2%. 

It is too small of a sample, and it really says more about Smith, who has handled spot starts well, than it says anything about Stevenson. Still, maybe we should see this platoon continue.