Bears

Facts and oddities from ‘Pace Bowl’ between Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson

mahomes_watson.jpg
USA TODAY

Facts and oddities from ‘Pace Bowl’ between Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson

Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans confirmed the obvious: quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are two talented individuals.

Mahomes tossed 321 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, while Watson threw for 388 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Kansas City rallied from a 24-0 deficit, taking down Houston 51-31 behind an electric 28-point burst in the second quarter.

For Bears fans, the game was a brutal reminder of what could have been. Chicago selected Mitchell Trubisky No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, ahead of Mahomes (No. 10) and Watson (No. 12). The game is likely the first of many postseason matchups we’ll see between the two signal-callers.

In the least sadistic way possible, let’s look at some of the best news and notes from Sunday’s game:

Mahomes came out on the right side of history:

Watson, on the other hand, came out on the wrong side:

The Chiefs and Texans combined for 52 first-half points behind six total passing touchdowns. That calls for an inevitable Trubisky comparison:

In lighter news, the 51-31 final score is a scorigami — a final score that's never occurred in NFL history.

    

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

A fan's guide for how to watch the NFL Combine

The 2020 NFL Combine will go a long way in determining the final draft grade for each of the 337 prospects participating in on-field drills. General managers and scouts want to see whether their athletic testing matches the traits noted on film. If a player runs faster than he plays, scouts will question his on-field instincts and overall football IQ. In the alternative, if he runs slower than he plays, questions about level of competition and the ability to 'win' on the NFL level will be raised.

But in order to understand whether or not a prospect is having a good performance, you first have to know what the NFL is looking for as its minimum time/result required for each position and drill.

NFL Hall-of-Fame executive Gil Brandt, one of the legendary draft minds in the sport, shared what has become the standard breakdown each team uses when assessing a player's 40 time, 3-cone drill, broad jump, vertical jump and more.

Check it out:

Keep this page bookmarked this week and refer back to this chart as your favorite Bears prospects try to run and jump their way to Chicago. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

usatsi_13940655.jpg
USA TODAY

2020 mock draft sends Bears OL, CB in 2nd round

The 2020 NFL Draft is front and center with the NFL Combine kicking off this week in Indianapolis. The week-long underwear Olympics represents the real start of draft season for the casual fan. Two months from now, we'll find out who the next class of Bears will be, and many of those players will make their case to GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the team's decision-makers over the next several days.

With the unofficial start of draft season comes the need to review the 2020 mock draft landscape. Pace has a chance to add two starters in the second round, and it's important to get a feel for which players could be within reach when Chicago picks at Nos. 43 and 50.

In Joe Marino's latest mock draft for The Draft Network, the Bears add a legitimate starting interior lineman and a cornerback who can challenge to do the same.

At No. 43, Marino sends Chicago Matt Hennessy, the standout center from Temple who can serve in the same capacity for the Bears if Nagy decides to kick Cody Whitehair back to guard. Hennessy was arguably the most impressive offensive lineman at the 2020 Senior Bowl. He routinely won his one-on-one reps and looked every bit the part of a decade-long starter in the middle of an NFL offensive line. 

What makes Hennessy so appealing is his ability to play either center or guard. We saw last season what a position change can do (both good and bad) along the interior of Chicago's offensive line, so depending on what the long-term outlook is for James Daniels and Whitehair, a player like Hennessy can fit any outcome. He'd be a great selection.

At No. 50, Chicago takes Mississippi State cornerback, Cameron Dantzler. This is the first mock draft that has Dantzler pegged to the Bears and it probably won't be the last that has Pace using one of his two second-rounders on a cornerback. The release of Prince Amukamara last week will move cornerback higher on the team's priority list.

Dantzler started 22 games for Mississippi State and totaled five interceptions over the last three seasons. At 6-2, 185 pounds, he brings good height and length to the pros. He projects like a fit in almost any defensive system and could come off the board much higher than the average fan is expecting at this point. How he performs in the athletic testing at the NFL Combine will be critical in his final evaluation. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.