The Kansas City Chiefs are still alive in the race for a first-round bye in the AFC.
Kansas City extended its winning streak to five with a 26-3 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Patrick Mahomes and the defense led the way for the 11-4 Chiefs, who are one game behind the New England Patriots for the AFC's No. 2 seed and would have the tiebreaker in the case of a tie.
As for the Bears, they fell to 7-8 in what was largely a meaningless game for them, having been eliminated from playoff contention and without a first-round pick in 2020 because of the Khalil Mack trade.
Notable Fantasy Stats
- KC QB Patrick Mahomes: 23-of-33 passing for 251 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions; one rushing touchdown
- KC RB Damien Williams: 16 carries for 65 yards; three catches for 27 yards and one touchdown
- KC TE Travis Kelce: eight catches for 74 yards and one touchdown
- CHI QB Mitchell Trubisky: 18-of-34 passing for 157 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions
- CHI RB David Montgomery: 13 carries for 57 yards
Patrick Mahomes Reminds Bears Fans What Could Have Been
Outside of the playoff implications for the Chiefs, the biggest storyline coming into this game was the draft connection between Mahomes and Mitchell Trubisky.
Chicago made what has thus far been a massive mistake by trading up to select Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft. Trubisky's inconsistency and failure to win a playoff game despite a dominant defense the past two seasons is all the more haunting for Bears fans because Mahomes (No. 10) and Deshaun Watson (No. 12) were picked later in the same draft.
Mahomes and Watson are both headed to the playoffs this season, and the former won the league MVP in his first year as a starter.
He wasted little time reminding fans of just how much better he is than Trubisky by directing a 15-play, 82-yard touchdown drive on Kansas City's first possession that included a 3rd-and-18 conversion and him scoring on the ground. Even when the Bears stopped Mahomes in the first half, they ran into the punter and gave him another chance.
The Texas Tech product naturally took advantage with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce before he not-so-subtly counted to his draft position:
While Mahomes iced the game with a touchdown pass to Damien Williams in the fourth quarter, Trubisky never established an offensive rhythm, missed a wide-open Allen Robinson on a potential touchdown in the first half and had no chance to keep up in the quarterback battle.
Chiefs Defense Inspires Confidence Heading Toward Playoffs
Kansas City's defense hasn't been a glaring weakness all season, but it also entered play a middling 18th in the league in yards allowed per game. If something holds it back in January, it likely won't be an offense featuring the likes of Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Kelce, among others.
That defense made a key fourth-down stop on a fade to Robinson in the end zone when Chicago finally had a sliver of momentum and prevented the Bears from coming back even when Mahomes and the offense stalled in the third quarter.
Yes, the performance came against a Bears team that has dramatically underperformed and is on the short list of most disappointing squads in the league alongside the Cleveland Browns, but it should provide the Chiefs with some confidence with the playoffs looming.
Kansas City could face some combination of Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson and Watson in the postseason and will surely need a key defensive stop at some point if it is going to lift the Lombardi Trophy.
Sunday's showing was something to build on for the defense.
The Bears finish their season next Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings, while the Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers.