The Kansas City Chiefs began the Andy Reid era in 2013 with 9-0 start to a season that ended in the playoffs. Last year the Chiefs started 2-2, finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.
Through four games this season the Chiefs are where the Bears are — 1-3 — but have gotten there by losing their last three in a row, unlike the Bears who at least won their game on Sunday. More ominous for the Chiefs, they have lost their games by increasing margins: by seven at home to Denver, by 10 at Green Bay and last Sunday by 15 in Cincinnati.
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Notably perhaps, as difficult as the Bears’ first three games were, those three Kansas City’s losses were to three of the top teams in the NFL with a combined record of 12-0.
The 1-3 start matches the second-worst start in Reid’s coaching career, a mark he fell to twice while coaching the Philadelphia Eagles. Only the 0-4 start in 1999 was worse, that coming in Reid’s first year as a head coach and with then-rookie quarterback Donovan McNabb.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
Since that 9-0 start in 2013, Reid’s Kansas City teams have gone just 12-15. Reid now is faced with reversing the spiral. As for how that is done, whether it’s finding new messages or doubling down on what has worked in the past,
“I’d have to let you know after Sunday,” Reid said. “I’m doing that. We haven’t started all that great, so, if you’re asking about our team, then we gotta keep doing a better job of coaching, a better job of our execution. If you’re asking me about a John Fox [Bears] team, I think he’d probably tell you the same thing."
All of the good graces Bill Belichick may have won on Tuesday afternoon -- when he compared the Bears' offense to Kansas City's -- are officially gone.
Today, when talking to reporters, a Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison came up. Belichick, who coached LT as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator in the 1980s, was NOT having it:
"Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now. I’m not putting anybody in (LT’s) class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor."
A bit harsh, Bill.
For what it's worth, here's Khalil Mack's 2018 projection, assuming his latest ankle injury doesn't make him miss time:
20 sacks, four interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries
That's .5 sacks less and four INTS, 16 FFs and 4 recoveries more than LT had in his 1986 MVP season. And yeah, maybe "they didn't record tackles/fumbles in 1986" and "16 forced fumbles would not only blow the current record (10) out of the water but is just plain unrealistic" but whatever, we're just sayin'.
UPDATE: shocker, LT agrees:
The Bears have seemingly dodged a bullet, for now.
Following Tuesday's announcement that Khalil Mack would undergo further tests on the right ankle injury he sustained during Sunday's loss, Bears head coach had more optimistic news on Wednesday:
It could obviously get a lot worse than a day-to-day diagnosis, though not practicing on Wednesday might raise some eyebrows.
It sounds like Mack is expected to be a go for Sunday's matchup with the Patriots, though as the Bears saw with the Dolphins' QB situation last week, things can change in a heartbeat.