By Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Two of the offseason favorite NFL teams are the Chiefs and the Bears. Fans and media are expecting big things from both. Buffalo Sports Page’s Bob Gaughan has his thoughts on whether that will actually happen.
Kansas City Under 10.5 wins
Kansas City was the darling of the league last year. Everything went right offensively for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes could throw no look passes and left-handed passes for first downs. This year I see defenses slowing the offense down better than they did last year. You could see how as the year ended in the playoffs the Chiefs offense didn’t look quite as good as it did during the regular season.
The Chiefs play the fifth toughest schedule in football. First of all the division should be better. The Raiders and Broncos will be better than they were a year ago. The NFC division the Chiefs play is the North. No bargains there with the Vikings, Packers, Bears and Lions. They play three good quarterbacks as well in the Colts, Texans and Steelers. The schedule is tough top to bottom.
What will happen with Tyreek Hill? Not sure at this point but the offense didn’t look as good without Kareem Hunt last year and Hill could face some disciplinary action from the league this year.
Let’s not forget how bad the Chiefs defense was last year. They averaged giving up 25 points a game. As good as the Chiefs offense was the defense was terrible. They have eight new faces on the defensive side and a new coordinator. That could take time to come together. They lost Dee Ford and Justin Houston as pass rushers. Don’t forget losing center Mitch Morse to Buffalo will hurt their offensive line.
The Chiefs didn’t have a first round pick in the draft. The drafted Juan Thornhill in the second round to team with Tyrann Mathieu as their new safeties.
Chicago Bears Under 9.5 wins
Here’s another team that everything went right for in 2018. I see a decline this year.
Again the schedule is very tough. The Bears have the sixth toughest schedule in the NFL this year. The Packers and Vikings should be better in the division. In fact I would argue that the Bears could have the worst quarterback in the division. Mitch Trubisky in my eyes is behind Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins. The Bears also have to play tough games against the Chargers, Rams, Chiefs, Saints, Eagles and Cowboys.
The Bears defense was the best in football last year. This year I see them slipping slightly. First of all they lost their defensive coordinator Vic Fangio who became the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Second they lost two key members of the secondary in cornerback Bryce Callahan and Safety Adrian Amos. The Bears defense will still be good but not as dominate as it was last year.
The Bears offense struggled at times. The defense over shadowed what was an average offense. The Bears ranked 21st on the offensive side of the ball. The Bears are hoping for third and fourth round draft picks in David Montgomery and Riley Ridley to help. The Bears were without a first and second round pick in the draft so they needed to wait to help the offense.
Bottom line these were two teams that everything went right for in 2018 and I see them taking a step back in 2019. The over/unders I believe are too high so I’ll take the under on both the Chiefs and Bears.