Usually when Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are playing in the Super Bowl, the Bears are brought up for the wrong reasons. You know the bit, “Can you believe the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky instead of Mahomes?” But in Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the Chiefs and Eagles, it was the Chiefs being compared to the Bears for all the right reasons.
Even though the Chiefs and Bears share that unique Super Bowl nugget, they’re very different teams. For starters, when people think about this iteration of the Chiefs, offense comes to mind first. Of course for the ‘85 Bears the defense was the headliner.
There is a similarity where the rookies fit into each Super Bowl winner, however: each team needed those rookies to step up in a big way. For the Chiefs, the team needed wide receivers to pick up the slack since Tyreek Hill was traded to Miami. There’s no replacing Hill entirely, but Skyy Moore’s touchdown was a huge fourth-quarter score to put the Chiefs up by eight. Isaiah Pacheco was forced to take on a bigger role since Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with an injury in Week 11, and never returned to the team. In the same vein, the Bears needed Reggie Phillips to play well in relief of Leslie Frazier, since Frazier hurt himself in the second quarter of Super Bowl XX. William Perry was a first-round standout and may have made a big impact under any circumstances, but his contribution shined even brighter since the Bears were playing without defensive lineman Al Harris, who decided to sit out the 1985 season due to a contract dispute.
It’s rare for Super Bowl teams to rely so heavily on rookies and succeed, but the Bears and Chiefs each made it happen, and now they share a specific slice of football history.