“This week, please don’t compare Mitch Trubisky to Patrick Mahomes. We are more than happy with the guy we got. Development takes time. Mitch’s story hasn’t even begun to be written yet. I would do it all over again exactly the same way.”
-Ryan Pace (Probably)
Do you remember, years ago, when the Bears or Blackhawks were terrible and the only reason you would go to games was because you wanted to watch the opponent’s best player? Well guess what, this is exactly what the Bears season has become.
The KC MasterChiefs come to town led by arguably the league’s most important player, Patrick Mahomes. The KC QB has been slowed somewhat by a knee injury this season, but the numbers are still very impressive; maybe not MVP-worthy, but robust no less. Most impressive is the QB’s learning curve in regards to taking care of the football. Mahomes has thrown four interceptions this season, second only to Aaron Rodgers. The importance of ball security cannot be stressed hard enough, and because of this, Patrick Mahomes (learning from Andy Reid) and the Chiefs will continue to be relevant in this league for a long, long time.
However, as Mitch Trubisky has shown, ball security alone doesn’t equate to NFL success. For all of the criticism Trubisky receives, you can’t overlook the great job he does of limiting his turnovers. The difference is Mahomes simply does so much more. The Chiefs entire offense involves a heavy reliance on Mahomes’ athleticism; meaning their playbook is full of designed bootlegs, straight QB runs, and QB RPOs. The hardest thing for me to understand is that Trubisky is actually more physically talented than Mahomes, so why is Matt Nagy not taking advantage of this? The new NFL is all about athletic QBs who are making plays with their feet. It’s becoming more about guys like:
- Lamar Jackson (1,103 Rush Yards, 6.9 Yards / Carry)
- Josh Allen (4.6 Rush Yards / Carry, 9 Rush TDs)
- Deshaun Watson (5.0 Rush Yards/ Carry, 7 TDs)
Notice I made no mention of Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, Dak Prescott, and Kyler Murray who all can make plays outside of the pocket by design or improvising.
Running aside, then digging deeper into Patrick Mahomes’ passing tendencies, I was shocked to see how much the QB relies on throws to the left side of the field. This has been evident throughout the season, but no more so than two weeks ago against the Patriots:
As you can see, against a turnover forcing machine that is the 2019 New England Patriots, only 10 of Mahomes 40 pass attempts went outside the right hash, where more than double that amount went to the left side. What you can also see from the Chiefs offense is a reliance on throws behind the line of scrimmage and within 10 yards of the LOS.
Is this the type of throw chart we can expect against the Bears? Well, you very well may get a game like this:
Or maybe one like this:
Now, don’t get me wrong, from a viewers perspective, I would love to see a game like the two above. I just don’t want it necessarily to be against the Bears. I think the home teams give a shit level will be very low on Sunday and in an effort to protect some guys from further injury as well as increase the team’s chances of a more preferred draft position in the later rounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mahomes went off for something like 30-35 for 420 and three TDs against a home team that hasn’t earned your trust this entire season.
Chiefs 35, Bears 10