Prediction, Three keys to Bears-Chiefs matchup
|Sunday, December 22, 2019, 10:05 AM- -|
For the first time since the end of the 2017 season, the Bears will be playing in a meaningless game to them in terms of playoff scenarios. However, the game is far from pointless on the schedule as the Kansas City Chiefs come to town as the Bears try to play spoiler in the AFC standings.
With above-average temperatures set for the weekend, the Chicago weather may not be a factor as it usually would this time of year. This will be a daunting task for the Bears defense in trying to shut down this high-powered offense that the Chiefs possess. Here are three things to look for ahead of the Bears' final home game of 2019.
1. Will Mitch’s comments about the offense be a good thing or bad thing?
Well, we have all seen it this season, but finally, someone in the offense dared to come out and say something regarding the play calling. That person was quarterback Mitch Trubisky who, despite the loss on Sunday, continues to play some of his best ball as a pro.
Trubisky unintentionally threw his head coach under the bus when talking about the Bears game plan against the Packers complaining about how the offense was used regarding their strengths. It almost looked like the Bears were playing safe the first half before opening things up the second half and nearly completing the comeback.
Sometimes when a player comes out and makes comments like that, it is a good thing, but sometimes it can also be a bad thing and create even more turmoil. We will see how the team responds this week as Chicago cannot afford to start slow against a Chiefs team that can put up points in a hurry. This is no Green bay, and if Chicago is down two scores early, then it is good night.
2. Can the defense slow down Patrick Mahomes and that offense
Make no mistake about it; the Chicago defense is not on the same level they were at a season ago. However, that isn’t to say they are not good as they still rank in the top 10 in the NFL in total defensive stats. That unit will be put to the test this week as they face what could be the most explosive offense when healthy this week.
Not only does Kansas City have the reigning MVP in Patrick Mahomes calling the shots, but they have speed across the roster, including big-play man Tyreke Hill on the outside. With all-pro tight end Travis Kelce creating matchup nightmares for everyone, there is no secret that Kansas City will always rely on their offense to lead the way.
Ultimately, if the Bears want any shot at an upset, they need to slow down the high-octane assault from that side of the ball. Judging by what Kansas City did in the snow last week, that is a lot easier said than done, so we will see what Chuck Pagano and company have in store for Andy Reid.
A bittersweet matchupWith all the talk surrounding the Bears defense paired up against the Chiefs offense, there is one internal matchup that is not getting much attention. That would be the battle of head coaches as Matt Nagy will be extra emotional this week.
Now in his second season with the Bears, Nagy was previously on the Kansas City staff, working as the offensive coordinator for two seasons under Andy Reid and the quarterback’s coach before that. Many people feel Nagy is responsible for resurrecting Alex Smith’s career, and he did that under the guidance of Reid.
If it wasn’t for Reid, Nagy might not have the job he has now as he got to serve and learn from one of the best to ever do it. Yes, Reid may be the primary play-caller in Kansas City, but working under him allows coaches to see exactly how his system works and all the countless hours it takes to perfect the masterpiece.
Eventually, Reid trusted Nagy enough to call the plays, which is a huge step for any up and coming coach looking to make the leap to a head coach. For Reid to trust Nagy with the offense shows you a lot about the makeup of Nagy, and that could have been the turning point to him getting the job in Chicago. Let’s see if the student can teach the teacher on Sunday.
Prediction: Kansas City 31 Bears 17
I would love nothing more than the Bears to win out and head into the offseason with a ton of confidence. The only problem is, I don’t see that happening. Not only are the Chiefs getting healthy at the right time on offense, but their defense has carried the load lately, taking the pressure off Mahomes and company.
We know Kansas City can score when they have too, but given the way, the defense has looked as of late, and the Chiefs are suddenly a more complete and scarier team. As good as the Bears defense is, I don’t see any way they can slow down the Chiefs offense or score enough points to keep up with them in the end. Look for Kansas City to set the tone early and then cruise to the win.