Chiefs vs Bears Game Preview
The top two quarterbacks of the 2017 NFL Draft face off as the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes leads Kansas City into Chicago to face Mitchell Trubisky’s Bears. Both quarterbacks could be future superstars and have one man in common: former Chiefs offensive coordinator and current Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
Kansas City is a contender and the Bears are a team on the rise. They have one of the best defences and have plenty of talent on offence. How far each team goes depends on how well their young pivots evolve.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs signalled the beginning of the Mahomes era by trading away Alex Smith after yet again disappointing in the playoffs. The 2017 10th overall pick may not be entirely polished but has the game-changing ability his predecessor never had.
KC also parted ways with a slew of defenders including Marcus Peters (CB) and Tampa Hali (LB) but are still one of the NFL’s best-rounded teams and will be gunning for their third straight division title.
Like the Chiefs, the Bears need their young quarterback to come with the goods. Trubisky had an abbreviated 2017 thanks to starting behind Mike Glennon. General manager Ryan Pace brought in reinforcements to set him up for a super sophomore campaign.
Defensively, the Bears got even better adding bluechip linebacker prospect Roquan Smith. This defence has the makings of an elite unit and will be a huge reason why Chicago returns to the postseason.
While the focus will be on the quarterback duel between Mahomes and Trubisky, it will be other elements of the team that win this game such as the running game and special teams. And the Chiefs get the slight edge here.
Chiefs vs Bears Head-to-Head Records
Chicago and Kansas City have only met a dozen times since 1973, their first season playing against each other. The Chiefs won 19-7 though the Bears would win the next three meetings all the way to 1987. Because of their inter-conference nature, the teams only play every four years.
Since 1987, the teams have alternated wins and losses. The Bears won the last meeting 18-17 despite being a huge underdog. Their games are usually low-scoring and you’ll have to go back to 1987 to find a game that went over a combined score of 30+.
A reason for this will be the similar nature of the teams. Both the Chiefs and Bears have brandished solid defences but subpar quarterbacking. Mahomes and Trubisky represent two quarterbacks who could break this mould if they are who scouts think they are.
The Chiefs are presently one of the AFC’s best teams and have all the tools to contend for a Super Bowl. The Bears are getting there and are in a good position to become a perennial playoff team as well. Their next meeting in 2019 could be a high-profile one.
Kansas City Chiefs Recent History
They were one of the first franchises to win a Super Bowl doing so in 1969, the last season before the AFL-NFL merger. Following this win, however, the Chiefs degenerated as a team and would only make one playoff appearance in the next 18 seasons.
The Marty Schottenheimer era in the early ’90s brought forth the team’s resurgence. They would make consecutive playoff appearances and win a few division titles though they wouldn’t make it past the AFC Championship. Following the coach’s departure in ’98, the team would return to its middling nature.
The Chiefs would make sporadic playoff appearances until Andy Reid took over in 2013. They have since become a powerhouse in the AFC West but are still without a home playoff victory in 24 seasons and have only won one playoff game in their last eight.
Chicago Bears Recent History
The Bears were one of the NFL’s earliest dynasties winning seven NFL Championships in the ’30s and ’40s until entering some a lengthy period of darkness from the merger to the ’70s. But they would once again regain their championship form in the 1980’s.
This legendary era was led by the second coming of the “Monsters of the Midway”, the decade’s best defence led by Hall of Famers Mike Singletary and Richard Dent. The Bears would win their first and only Super Bowl in 1985 in what is widely regarded as the greatest season of any NFL team.
Following this decade, the Bears would be plagued by inconsistencies and bad quarterbacking. They would return to the Super Bowl in 2006 but would lose and would make only one playoff appearance after. But thanks to a developing defence and a promising offence, the Bears could be contenders again.
Kansas City Chiefs Outlook
Only a team as deep as the Chiefs can cleanse a third of the active roster and end up becoming better. General manager Brett Veach knew he needed to make drastic changes following another early playoff exit. So out went Smith, Peters, and Hali and in comes Mahomes, Kendall Fuller, and Anthony Hitchens.
The Chiefs also acquired Sammy Watkins at wide receiver and added depth at safety drafting Armani Watts out of Texas A&M. Most importantly, All-Pro safety Eric Berry returns from a torn Achilles. He may lose some speed but his wits and leadership will be a boon to a defence that regressed when he was absent.
This team is still young but already capable of making a Super Bowl run. Mahomes should be good after spending a season learning on the sidelines. If the key players stay healthy, KC could be the one coming out of the AFC.
Chicago Bears Outlook
The Bears were a lot better than their 5-11 record suggested in 2017. They lost many close games and they only got better in the offseason. Trubisky now has a season of NFL experience and will have a better offence. Nagy is a huge upgrade over the outdated John Fox on the sidelines.
Chicago signed wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton to bolster the passing game while also drafting bluechip offensive linesman James Daniels, who fits in nicely in the middle. And on defence, they drafted Smith who is the consensus best NFL-ready linebacker.
General manager Ryan Pace has done a tremendous job filling the team with young talent and it has panned out. Chicago could challenge for a playoff spot as early as this season and if they continue improving at a steady pace, they are dark horse Super Bowl contenders.
Trubisky might as well be a rookie like Mahomes because he is going through a new coach. Mahomes has learned from Reid this past season but also be adjusting to a new offensive coordinator as his old one is coaching opposte to him.
Nagy should be familiar with several of the Chiefs’ plays on offence and likewise, Reid isn’t a total stranger to one of his former students. Both offences are also working out several of the new additions they have. But on the other hand, their defences are solid enough on both ends of the ball.
This game could feature a defensive struggle with some flashes of brilliant playmaking from either quarterback. But the Chiefs get the edge as they have better personnel on offence save for the offensive line, which the Bears have in spades.
In terms of depth, the Chiefs also hold a slight edge especially for their secondary and defensive line. And special teams could be the x-factor here. The Chiefs have the best unit and this could be what tips the balance in their favour.