Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears
When and Where: Saturday, August 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL
The third preseason game, although the fourth for Chicago, always brings out the best for each team. It’s when the starters play most of the game, sometimes deep into the third quarter. Chicago certainly has some familiarity with Kansas City as Matt Nagy begins his head coaching career after time with Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Nagy promises to instill a more potent offensive attack. The Chiefs have plenty of questions as they implement Sammy Watkins and the new quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. The Bears have a truly solid defense that’ll be tested by such a potentially dangerous offensive. The Chiefs will be challenged since the Bears have an entirely new look.
Patrick Mahomes had four incompletions, one of which was an interception during Saturday’s win over the Falcons. He threw a bomb to Tyreek Hill for a score and had over 150 total yards between passing and running. Mahomes is a dynamic playmaker that will make things fun for Kansas City, although at times he’ll struggle just like other young quarterbacks struggle. Chicago is a very good test to see how ready Mahomes is for the regular season. Kareem Hunt couldn’t get anything going in Saturday’s win, running seven times for only 15 yards. He did manage two catches for 24 yards. Mahomes has plenty of options, and he should have all of them at his disposal come Saturday afternoon.
The Chiefs defense was criticized ad nauseum last year, struggling to consistently stop their opponents. Kendall Fuller was a solid addition this off-season as part of the Alex Smith trade with Washington. Steven Nelson, however, suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over the Falcons. Nelson, who had been starting at one of the cornerbacks, might be out for this weekend’s game. Ben Niemann had a pick-six in the win over Atlanta, while third-round draft pick Derrick Nnadi registered a sack. The Chiefs have some interesting pieces on defense.
Leonard Floyd has a fracture in his hand, so he’ll be out until at least the beginning of the regular season. Chicago’s defense will miss Floyd for Saturday’s game, certainly. Chicago’s defense was terrific last year, considering how poorly the offense played. The Bears managed to force a fumble and collect four sacks in last weekend’s narrow win over the Broncos. Roy Robertson-Harris, who had a solid 2017 season, picked up a sack and a half against the Broncos. 2018 fourth-round linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe had a solid game against the Broncos, collecting five tackles and one pass break-up.
Allen Robinson, the Bears prized free agent addition, played for the first time since last season’s ACL tear against the Broncos. He didn’t register a catch or a target, though. The Bears would be wise to get Robinson some targets, even if he doesn’t play the entire first half. He’s going to play a big factor in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s development. The Bears have plenty of weapons, beginning with Jordan Howard. Howard is more of a first and second down back while Tarik Cohen will handle plenty of third down situations. Nagy envisions Cohen to play in the slot as well. Cohen had a dynamic rookie season, and he should build off that even more with a more consistent play caller in the fold. Trey Burton is somebody to watch out for this year.
- Bears are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Chiefs have the talent on offense to really be productive this year. The third preseason game usually mirrors a regular season game the most, so expect both teams to play their best possible game. The Bears defense definitely is their team’s strength, and they’ll be challenged in several ways with the versatility of Kansas City’s offense. Hunt struggled to consistently run the ball against the Falcons, so that might be a point of emphasis for Kansas City.
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs +1
Full-Game Total Pick
As solid as Chicago’s defense appeared last year, this could turn into a higher scoring game. The Chiefs defense is susceptible to big plays, and that’s something the Bears are fully capable of doing. The Chiefs offense will have success, because of how many play makers they have throughout their skill guys.
Prediction: Over 44.5