LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Bears defense had to face Aaron Rodgers last week. It only gets more challenging this week when they face Patrick Mahomes and all his playmakers on the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s going to take all 11 men out there doing their job,” said Bears’ defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano about the Bears’ challenge Sunday night.
Mahomes was the NFL’s MVP last season. He’s enjoying another fabulous season this year despite missing action with a disloated kneecap. He has passed for more than 3600 yards.
“He’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league,” said Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. “He can make every throw. He’s very tough. He’s a competitor.”
“He’s a threat downfield,” said the Bears other safety Eddie Jackson. “He can extend plays with his feet, look-off passes, so you just really have got to be on top of the keys and play tight coverage.”
All season the Bears defense has focused on preventing big plays, but making big plays is what Mahomes is known for.
“It seems like every play there’s run-action there’s RPOs (run-pass-options),” said Pagano. “There’s a lot of things that can distract from your eyes and take you off your keys, so it’s going to take great discipline, relentless effort.”
“They’re going to take the chances downfield,” said Clinton-Dix. “I think this is going to be a game where it falls on the DBs. It’s going to be on the corners and safeties to do our job and do it correct.”
Mahomes isn’t the only guy driving the Chiefs’ offense. Receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are playmakers.
“They’ve got a lot of fast guys on the outside that can stretch the field vertically,” said Jackson. “Run routes, seperation like that, so we really have to come play in the back end.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce poses another major threat for the Bears. He is the first tight end in NFL history to string together four straight seasons of 1,000 yards in receptions.
“We’ve got to tend to him,” said Pagano. “We really feel like he’s the catalyst. He’s kind of like the guy that makes that thing go.”