NFL

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR NFL PREVIEW Sun: Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs

Hard to know which narrative to select as the main storyline with enough going in the Bears camp this week to write a book about.

Already 0-2 on the season after passing on the No1 draft pick they could be heading towards gaining that same pick once again and I’ve detailed in the Vikings Chargers game (two other 0-2 sides) how difficult it is to comeback from the 0-3 abyss.

That’s not all that’s happened in Chicago this week though with defensive coordinator Alan Wiliams offering his resignation in somewhat cloudy circumstances and then starting QB Justin Fields seemingly throwing the coaching staff under the bus and blaming them for his poor play so far this year.

⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET & SPECIALS Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs

Hardly a happy camp and now they have to go to the Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champions at the intimidating and loud Arrowhead Stadium as a double-digit underdog (+12.5) on the back of a losing streak that stretches back to Week 8 of last year, a run of 12 games. Not only that they also run into Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes who could have been in a Bears uniform if Chicago had not passed up on the Kansas City signal caller in the 2017 draft in favour of Mitch Trubisky with the No2 pick. During a 2019 meeting with Chicago, Mahomes held up his fingers to make the number 10, the number he was drafted at that year. The Chiefs beat the Bears 26-3 that day and the scoreline may be heading in a similar direction for this meeting.

The Chiefs for their part are yet to really fire this year having lost 21-20 to the Lions at home and defeated the Jaguars on the road last week 17-9, just the second time in the Mahomes era that the offence have failed to score 21 points in consecutive games. In fact, strangely for all their woes the Bears are tied with the Chiefs in terms of scoring both having scored 37 points through two games. However, this is a Bears team and defence that has allowed an average of 25.5 points in their first two games, and this looks a spot where the Mahomes and the Chiefs offence could well get right back on track.

With that thought we should take a close look at the Chiefs offence that faces a Bears team that has already lost by 18 points to the Packers and 10 points to the Buccaneers and neither of that pair has an offence or quarterback of the calibre of the Chiefs and Mahomes. Mahomes after looking below-par against the Lions in Week 1 looked a lot more like his old self against the Jaguars last week especially with his favourite target in Travis Kelce back in the fold after his knee injury kept him out of the Week 1 Lions game. Last Sunday Mahomes completed 70.7% of his passes for 305 yards vs. the Jaguars. Despite rolling up almost 400 yards of offence in that contest, the Chiefs mustered just 17 points with a series of turnovers, 12 penalties and some poor goal line efficiency stalling some promising drives.


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One facet of Mahomes game this year that is noticeable is that his production in the run game has ticked upwards a little with 30 yards on the ground in Week 1 and another 45 in Week 2, which would have been his sixth- and second-highest regular season totals last year. It won’t be a surprise to see Mahomes utilise his legs again.

Mahomes appears to have to get to know his receivers this season (Kelce apart) but facing a Chicago defence that has trouble generating pressure Mahomes should have time to do anything he wants especially as the Bears have generated a league-low one sack through two games. The Chiefs receivers like the running backs are hard to work out with the wide receivers especially looking a deep rotation with no clear designated wide receiver and I suspect Kelce at tight end will once again be the major target for Mahomes throws.

⭐ STARSPORTS.BET MARKET & SPECIALS Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs defence has looked a legitimate threat this year especially since edge rusher Chris Jones has returned and Jones created havoc against the Jaguars last week. That spells trouble for Bears QB Justin Fields especially as he’ll be operating behind an offensive line that is weak and frankly a mismatch to the Chiefs defensive line especially with Jones on the rampage. Chicago’s offensive line is without the starting left side, as both starters are on short-term injured reserve and Fields has taken 10 sacks so far this season despite having the fifth-highest average time to throw.

Field was openly critical of the Bears offensive gameplan this week claiming that they had made him play robotic football and taken away the ability that he has to play football on his instincts. Well, he’s going to need those instincts this week and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he will run the ball this week either by design or just the need to get out of trouble and that’s when he’s at his most effective. The Bears started last year curbing Fields inclination to run but eventually cut him loose averaging 94.9 yards rushing per game over the last 10 games of the 2022 season. The Chiefs have been hurt by running QB’s (I’m not going to call him dual threat as his passing is error strewn and inaccurate) before and to have any chance at all in this game the Bears have to let Fields play off the cuff as he can be a deadly runner.

It’s been a tough week for the Bears and Fields, and it could get a whole lot tougher if Mahomes and the Chiefs turn up and click into gear here as they have been threatening to do and it’s hard to see the Bears having the firepower to keep up with them. The spread is a large one, but Fields is 8-18-1 ATS in his career, including 0-3 ATS when getting double digits and those figures are unlikely to improve for a trip to Arrowhead.

ANDY RICHMOND


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Travis Kelce over +72.5 receiving yards 1pt at 10/11 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Justin Fields over +60.5 rushing yards 1pt at 10/11 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Kansas City Chiefs to win by 13-18 points 1pt at 4/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Kansas City Chiefs to win by 19-24 points 1pt at 5/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (SEPT 2023): LOSS -13.58 points


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