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Bears fans, don’t subject yourselves to it. There is an obvious Super Bowl storyline that is flashing in bright lights. Those fans still spurned by the team’s decision to select Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft are blinded by it.
That storyline is this:
Patrick Mahomes — one of the two successful quarterbacks whom the Bears bypassed in favor of Trubisky — will face the San Francisco 49ers — the team with whom the Bears traded to move up one spot to take Trubisky.
I know. It’s not exactly a shining moment for Bears general manager Ryan Pace. And it rubs a lot of Bears fans the wrong way. But you don’t have to let it consume you and ruin your Super Bowl.
For one thing, there’s no guarantee Mahomes would have been successful in Chicago. For another, the Chiefs just have far more offensive weapons than the Bears offense does, making it difficult to gauge each quarterback on the same level.
Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, here’s what Bears fans can watch in Super Bowl LIV.
Watching the 49ers
The 49ers enter this game with one, if not the best defense in the NFL. It’s something the Bears held claim to just a season ago. While strong offenses are all the thrill in the modern NFL era — and are still required for at least a postseason run — the old adage of defenses winning championships still holds true. Because no matter how great a quarterback is, if he’s under constant duress, he will succumb to the pressure.
Hence, the Bears might have regressed a tad on defense in 2019, but they still have a strong foundation on that side of the ball for a run in 2020. Watch how the 49ers defense operates and see what kind of strategy they deploy to contain Mahomes.
The other thing the Niners do really well is run the ball — something clearly the Bears lacked this season. The Niners pound the ball with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. Doing so allows them to control the pace and the clock and take pressure off quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Bears, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going early with Mike Davis, and he got cut loose mid season. Rookie David Montgomery was highly underused. And Tarik Cohen is far more valuable as a receiver. Plus, let’s be honest, the offensive line was a disaster.
Watch how the Niners attempt to keep the Chiefs’ explosive offense neutralized on the sideline.
Watching the Chiefs
Ah, yes, the mighty Chiefs. Every Bears fan’s wildest dreams. The Chiefs are what the Bears offense could and should look like — if they had the right pieces.
But Trubisky is not Mahomes. Matt Nagy is not Andy Reid. Trey Burton is not Travis Kelce — and we really don’t know what he fully can be because he can’t stay healthy. And the Bears don’t have the explosive playmakers that the Chiefs have at receiver, like Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, among others.
The Chiefs, truthfully, don’t have a dynamite running back, but their offensive line is better, at least giving the run game a shot.
Do not watch Mahomes with envy. He is not a Bear and, as mentioned, there is no guarantee he would be half as good as he is if he were in Chicago.
Instead, watch the entirety of the Chiefs offense and see what could happen if the Bears could block better, utilize a good tight end in advantageous matchups, and had a few receivers to stretch the defense.
Watch with joy, not anger
I know, I get it. You’re bummed the Bears appear to have blew it with Mahomes. And we might concede that Trubisky never becomes like Mahomes. But he doesn’t have to be. He just has to be surrounded by more talent. And if the Bears supplement the offense and their defense continues to resemble the Niners’ defense, we could be watching the Bears late into January next year.