The Chicago Bears are at a pivotal juncture as they prepare to face the formidable Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at the intimidating Arrowhead Stadium. Amidst a whirlwind of media frenzy, press conference madness, and the Alan Williams debacle, it’s imperative that the Bears regain their focus and channel all their energy towards devising a winning strategy against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The task at hand is clear: drown out the noise, play to their strengths, and orchestrate a game plan that can stun the Chiefs on their home turf.
How the Bears Can Pull the Ultimate Upset Against the Kansas City Chiefs
1: Igniting Justin Fields and the Bears Offense
The Bears’ offense has been lackluster in the initial weeks, and a significant onus falls on Justin Fields to reignite the spark. Fields believes he has the solution as he plans to “say F it” and play free, asserting “that’s when I play my best.” This is exactly what Bears fans have been yearning for. Fields seems to be in his own head, missing out on open receivers as a result.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy must dial up plays that get Fields on the move. The mere two designed roll-outs in the Tampa Bay game yielded promising results – one resulting in a touchdown run by Fields, and the other a perfect pass, albeit dropped by Cole Kmet. By tailoring the game plan to Fields’ comfort zone, the Bears can potentially unlock a more dynamic and effective offense.
"I felt like I was playing robotic. My goal this week is to say F it and just play football."
Justin Fields on his early struggles this season. pic.twitter.com/IKD1Zqfq4B
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 20, 2023
2: Ground and Pound
The Bears’ rushing attack was conspicuously absent last week, a trend that needs immediate reversal. Entrusting the ball to the explosive rookie Roschon Johnson and other backs, and pounding away at the Chiefs’ defensive line could be a game-changer. Establishing a run game will not only alleviate the pressure on Fields but also keep the lethal Patrick Mahomes sidelined for as long as possible. Last week’s dismal rushing production was the worst in over two years for the Bears, and a resurgence of the ground game is crucial to balance the offensive attack.
3: Defensive Resilience
The Bears showcased a more resilient defense in Week 2, a positive sign moving forward. Despite the scoreboard reflecting 27 points, the defense was responsible for only 20 of those points. Moreover, a contentious missed call on an offensive pass interference that led to a 70-yard gain could have further reduced the tally to just 13 points, showcasing a notable defensive improvement.
EXTREMELY BLATANT OFF PASS INTERFERENCE BY MIKE EVANS
No call by the refs of course. pic.twitter.com/uRsuSTHs6a
— Swift Sports Network (@SwiftyNetwork) September 17, 2023
The key will be to maintain an aggressive stance, especially in sending pressure to disrupt the Chiefs’ offensive rhythm. While Mahomes is a maestro under center, a relentless pass rush could force him into uncomfortable situations, potentially leading to game-altering mistakes. The Bears dialed up a lot of pressure on passing downs in Week 2, and although they finished with zero sacks, the pressure was there. Committing to a similar aggressive defensive game plan could pay dividends against the Chiefs.
4: Neutralizing Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce is a monumental threat, and neutralizing him is easier said than done. However, the Bears have a glimmer of hope in head coach and de facto defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who has previously orchestrated defensive schemes that stymied the Chiefs’ offense. Drawing from past successes and devising a plan to take Kelce out of the equation could significantly tilt the odds in the Bears’ favor. Eberflus’s expertise, which was instrumental in holding the Chiefs to under 20 points during the 2020 and 2021 encounters while with the Colts, leading to victories in both games, could significantly influence the crafting of a triumphant defensive strategy for the Bears.
5: Keep the Ball out of Mahomes’ Hands
Keeping the ball away from Mahomes is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the Bears vs Chiefs game plan. Long, sustained offensive drives that chew up the clock, coupled with a defense that can create turnovers and get off the field on third downs, could be the formula for success. The objective is clear: control the game’s tempo, limit Mahomes’ opportunities, and execute on both sides of the ball. By dominating the time of possession, the Bears can keep Mahomes off the field and increase their chances of securing a victory in a hostile environment. The last thing the Bears want is for Mahomes to carve up their defense like a Thanksgiving turkey in a comedy roast, leaving them picking up pieces of their pride off the Arrowhead turf.
Harboring Hopes of an Upset
The Bears are venturing into a hostile environment with the odds stacked against them. However, with a clear focus, a tailored game plan, and an unyielding desire to prove themselves, they have the ingredients to orchestrate an upset. As they march into Arrowhead, the hopes of silencing the critics and reigniting their season’s aspirations hang in the balance. The stage is set for a showdown that could potentially alter the narrative of the Bears’ 2023 season, and a victory in Arrowhead could be the catalyst for a turnaround.
Main Photo: Kim Klement Neitzel – USA Today Sports