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Chiefs’ first-team defense underwhelming as Bears win, 27-20

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The Chicago Bears beat the Kansas City Chiefs in their third preseason game on Saturday afternoon.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-20, on Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced late last night that his team would rest most of its starters, including starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but that didn’t matter.

Chase Daniel went 15 for 18 for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ win Saturday. Daniel also rushed six times for 47 yards.

QUARTERBACKS

  • Patrick Mahomes had a solid day with the first team, going 18 for 24 for 196 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes mixed in several receivers, including his premier targets—Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins. The biggest highlight for Mahomes was recognizing the blitz and dumping it off to Kareem Hunt on his right for the easy touchdown. Mahomes started the second half off with a nice, long drive. but could not cash in within the Bears 5-yard line.
  • Chad Henne had just one series, going 2 for 5 for 16 yards before giving way to Chase Litton, who is in a battle for the No. 3 quarterback position. Litton didn’t play at all last week.
  • Litton finished 4 for 7 for 67 yards and had a 55-yard touchdown on a ball in which wide receiver Marcus Kemp did most of the work. Kemp had about 35-40 yards after the catch.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

  • First drive: The Chiefs’ first drive began at their own 26-yard line with a crafty touch pass at the line of scrimmage to Tyreek Hill, who took it 28 yards in the open field. Hill nearly broke the play off for a long touchdown. Sammy Watkins made his first reception of the preseason. At the 19, the Bears’ Nagy called a heavy blitz, but Mahomes connected with Kareem Hunt on a 19-yard swing route to tie the game at 7. Travis Kelce, Hill, Hunt and Watkins all had touches on the team’s first drive.
  • Second drive: Mahomes looked especially sharp during the beginning of the Chiefs’ second drive, hitting Kelce and Hill twice. The Bears brought the pressure, and the Chiefs’ drive stalled at the Bears 29. Harrison Butker hit a 47-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.
  • Third drive: Mahomes and the Chiefs did not look sharp on the third drive, quickly going three-and-out. Spencer Ware looked like he is getting back into a rhythm.
  • Fourth drive: Mahomes and the Chiefs took over with a short field at their own 46-yard line, but back-to-back runs by Ware got the Chiefs nowhere. On third-and-10 Mahomes overthrew Watkins on a deep ball down the right sideline despite Watkins having at least three or four steps on the defender. Punt.
  • Fifth drive: Another three-and-out, including a false start on Kelce.
  • Sixth drive (second half): This was a great look at what Mahomes can do on a nice, long 14-play drive. Mahomes had eight completions in his first eight attempts before the Chief went for it on fourth down at the Chicago 5. The Bears brought pressure and Mahomes had to run for his life before launching a pass out of the end zone. Incomplete and day over for Mahomes.

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

  • First drive: Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland indeed started the game at inside linebacker. With Steve Nelson still in the concussion protocol, Orland Scandrick started as the nickel cornerback. The first drive did not go well for the Chiefs. Hitchens took a face-mask penalty and safety Leon McQuay and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi missed key tackles a the Bears waltzed down the field and took a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard run by Bennie Cunningham. The defense couldn’t have had a worse start.
  • Second drive: The Chiefs defense seemed to recover on the second drive, looking much better in their second try. After giving up a quick first down, the Chiefs defense forced the Bears to punt, highlighted by Kendall Fuller showing nice coverage on Bears wide receiver Marlon Brown on first down. Spencer Ware took an illegal formation penalty on the punt, extending the drive. The defense forced third-and-6, but the Bears converted a first down due to a mixup in coverage. Daniel found WR Kevin White wide open behind Scandrick for the 29-yard score and 14-7 lead.
  • Third drive: Ragland missed a tackle early in the drive that gave the Bears a first down on an early second-and-9 try, and Daniel shined from there. WR Javon Wims beat David Amerson badly for a 53-yard strike, bringing the Bears to the Kansas City 23-yard line. Amerson was beaten by Wims again in the back-left portion of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 21-7 lead.
  • Fourth drive: Though Ragland had the look of player who is still getting in shape, the Chiefs defense had their first bright spot on their fourth series of the game. The run defense looks to be improved, as Ragland and Justin Hamilton both had tackles for no gain. On fourth down-and-1, Daniel could not push the ball ahead as the Chiefs forced a turnover on downs.
  • Fifth drive: Daniel scrambled 28 yards from the Chicago 12 on third-and-6 for a long first down, but then the Chiefs were victim of back-to-back soft calls—first, Breeland Speaks was called for unnecessary roughness and Tanoh Kpassagnon was flagged for roughing the passer. Kpassagnon’s penalty was especially bad, but it extended the Bears drive all the same. The Bears kicked a 48-yard field goal to take a 24-10 lead.
  • Sixth drive (second half): Tyler Bray entered the game to start the third quarter, and the Chiefs defense forced a three-and-out.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Harrison Butker’s first kickoff went out of bounds and Ware took a costly illegal formation penalty on a punt.
  • De’Anthony Thomas has two good returns—a kick return for 36 yards and a punt return for 36 yards. Thomas did what he needed to from a special-teams standpoint to merit making the team in his preseason debut.
  • Tremon Smith had three kick returns for 75 total yards (25 yards per return)

WHAT THEY’LL BE TALKING ABOUT

  • The Chiefs’ pass defense left much to be desired. Daniel, working with the Bears second-team, gashed the Chiefs for 198 yards and two touchdowns, only in the first half. Amerson felt like the player who will take the bulk of the blame.
  • The Chiefs run defense, on the other hand, looked improved. When the ball wasn’t in the hands of Daniel, the Chiefs did a nice job stopping the run.
  • Lack of a rushing attack. Daniel had 47 rushing yards in the first half; the Chiefs running backs, as a team, had 10.
  • Mahomes had a good day, but there was nothing dazzling to report like last week.
  • Hill’s stat line: On eight targets, Hill caught all eight balls for 88 yards.
  • Watkins’ first catch: Watkins had one catch, his first of the preseason, for 15 yards. Mahomes targeted Watkins on four separate occasions.

INJURY UPDATE

There were no additional injuries to report of this writing.