According to NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison, the Bears will play in two of the NFL’s top 10 games during the 2019 season, both on Sunday Night Football.
Harrison ranks the Bears-Chiefs clash Dec. 22 at Soldier Field as the eighth best game in 2019 and the Bears-Rams contest Nov. 17 in Los Angeles 10th on his list.
The game against the Chiefs will pit two quarterbacks selected high in the 2017 draft against each other in the Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. It will also feature Bears coach Matt Nagy facing his mentor, Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Before joining the Bears last year, Nagy spent 10 seasons as an assistant under Reid with the Eagles and Chiefs.
“Matt Nagy owns unique insight into Patrick Mahomes’ career, considering he was the reigning MVP's first offensive coordinator in the league and probably had much to do with Andy Reid feeling like he could move forward with the young quarterback,” Harrison wrote. “Nagy's last year in Kansas City was not only Mahomes' first, but also Alex Smith's last -- you know, when Smith led the NFL in passer rating.
“Now Nagy is trying to do the same quality work with Mitch Trubisky, but his new team's strength is actually its top-flight defense. That Bears' unit will be charged with stopping Mahomes and the most explosive offense going right now.”
The game against the high-powered Rams will be a rematch of the Bears’ 15-6 win last Dec. 9 at Soldier Field. In that contest, the Chicago defense did not allow a touchdown while generating four interceptions and a safety. The unit held running back Todd Gurley to a season-low 28 yards on 11 carries and quarterback Jared Goff to a career-low 19.1 passer rating.
Harrison calls the battle “a clash of divergent styles,” writing, “The Bears have proven they can shut down high-octane offenses, like when they held these Rams to six points last season. Then again, that was in the frigid night air of Soldier Field last December. How will it go between two obvious contenders out in the warm environs of L.A.? Will epic defense win the day again?”
The best game of the season on Harrison’s list is Saints at Rams in Week 2, followed by Chiefs at Patriots in Week 14. The two contests are rematches of last year’s NFC and AFC Championship Games, respectively.