The Chicago Bears need to play better in the trenches
After the first two weeks of the season, the Bears' biggest weakness so far has been their play on both the offensive and defensive lines. Dating back to the start of last season, the offensive line specifically has been a problem, and since week one of the 2022 season, Fields has been taken down 65 times in 17 games, the most over that stretch.
This year, Fields' sack rate is even worse, and after being brought down 10 times in two games, he is currently on pace to be sacked 85 times in a 17-game schedule, shattering the NFL record for a single season. Sunday, the Bears challenge of protecting their quarterback will be even more difficult with the loss of starting left tackle Braxton Jones, who was played on injury reserve earlier this week. Reserves Larry Borom and Ja'Tyre Carter will likely be the main sources of relief until Jones's hopeful return.
Beyond protecting Fields, the offensive line will be tasked with handling a talented defensive line that now includes defensive tackle Chris Jones, who sat out the team's first game as well as the majority of training camp. Jones leads a talented and unsung defensive front seven that will need to be properly accounted for in the rushing game. With Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert in line to see the majority of carries, the offensive line will need to help these two by providing clear holes in the defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears defensive line has to begin playing better than how they started the season. In two games, the team has recorded just one sack thanks to newcomer Yannick Ngakoue, who got home week one against the Green Bay Packers. Against Mahomes, it will be important to generate more pressure from the interior of the line, specifically from Justin Jones and rookies Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens. Kansas City has a strong interior line, but any pressure up the middle could provide more one-on-one opportunities for the edge rushers, where the Chiefs' line may be slightly weaker.
Either way, both lines for either team will dictate largely what happens in the rushing game as well as the amount of pressure each quarterback faces. Through two weeks, the Bears have struggled in both aspects on either side of the ball, so Kansas City may provide an opportunity for these units to help establish their respective identities against solid opposition.