This Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears will play their first preseason game of the 2022 season. The game will kick off at 1:00 PM EST inside Soldier Field. Both of these teams will be looking to start the year out with a bang, as FOOTBALL IS BACK!
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming into this season after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship in 2021. The Chiefs will look slightly different this season, though. They traded away Tyreek Hill and added multiple other receivers for Mahomes to throw to. They will also be without Tyrann Mathieu, as he decided that he would rather sign with the New Orleans Saints. But, I wouldn't expect to see many stars playing this early in the preseason. Chad Henne will see the majority of the time at QB in this game.
The Chicago Bears are coming into this season after an eventful offseason. They fired Matt Nagy and let the majority of their free agents walk. The Bears cut over 30 veterans from the 2021 season, as they are looking for a fresh start in 2022. The Bears did say that they were going to allow their young starters to get a decent amount of playing time in this game. Justin Fields will start, but Trevor Siemian will get most of the action at QB in this one.
The Chiefs Have RemodeledThe Kansas City Chiefs will be looking to start the game fast against the Bears, as Andy Reid expects his team to win regardless of who is starting on the field. Reid did lead Kansas City to a (3-0) preseason record in 2021. The Chiefs have struggled in the preseason as road dogs, though. They have gone (15-29) ATS in their last 44.
The Chiefs will also start Patrick Mahomes at QB in this game, but I wouldn't expect him to play more than a series or two. Watch for Chad Henne, as he has only had one start since 2016, as he hasn't played much over the past few seasons. He hasn't played much since joining the Chiefs in 2018, but he was a starter in this league from 2009-2013. He is capable of running this offense. I would expect the Chiefs to allow their second-round pick, Skyy Moore to get some action in this one, as well. He will be Tyreek Hill's replacement, as the Chiefs have high expectations for him. I wouldn't expect any starters to play more than a series or two in this one, though. Kansas City also added JuJu Smith-Schuster, as they are much deeper at the WR position this season. The Chiefs will then turn to Shane Buechele and Dustin Crum to finish this game at QB.
Buechele played at Texas and Crum is a rookie out of Kent State. These two will be battling for the third QB roster spot. I would also watch for a few of the Chiefs' undrafted free agents, as they have been showing out at training camp this season. Watch for Justyn Ross and Matthew Sexton, as these two wideouts have been doing everything they can to make the team.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs made multiple additions to their team this offseason. They drafted Trent McDuffie, CB, in the 1st round and then got George Karlaftis DE, as well. Both of these guys will make a difference immediately, but I wouldn't expect them to play much in this game. Kansas City also added LB Jermaine Carter Jr. and Elijah Lee, as they look for more depth at that position. Steve Spagnuolo won't be looking to allow this young Bears team to move the ball early, as I expect him to allow his starters to play the first few series of this game. The Bears will allow their starters to play more than the Chiefs, but Kansas City won't lay down and give them the win that easy. They are extremely young on defense right now and their rookies need as much experience as they can get. The Chiefs allowed the 17th most points per game last season, as they will be looking to improve in their secondary. I would also watch for undrafted free agents, Jack Cochrane and Mike Rose, as these two linebackers have shown that they belong on this team. This is a defense with a lot of new additions, as I would expect them to try and be better than last season.
The Bears Needed a Fresh StartMatt Eberflus, the Chicago Bears new head coach said that the starters on both sides of the ball will see action in the first preseason game against the Chiefs this week. According to chicagobears.com, his exact quote says that his starters will play "a good amount". Expect the new-look Bears team will allow their starters to play for a quarter at most, unless it is just a few possessions. Justin Fields will start in this game, but Trevor Siemian will get the majority of the snaps once Fields exits the game. Siemian does have a lot of NFL experience, though. He started for the Denver Broncos a few years back, as he showed that he could get the job done. This Bears offense does worry me, though. They scored the 27th least amount of points last season and they've made some adjustments this offseason.
They are now without WR Allen Robinson and RB Tarik Cohen, but they did sign Lucas Patrick OL, and Byron Pringle WR. This was an offense that really struggled to move the ball this last season, as they have now lost multiple offensive talents. Watch for Velus Jones JR., as he was the Bear's third-round draft choice. He is the newest wide receiver on this roster, as the Bears will be attempting to get him that ball as often as they can. Nathan Peterman is the only other QB that will play in this game. He has had experience as a starter, but he stunk. He does have experience though, as that is valuable in a preseason game.
The Chicago Bears made some huge defensive moves over the offseason, as well. They decided to trade Khalil Mack and they cut multiple other veterans. They will now be without Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman, but their new additions will be looking to step up. Chicago signed Justin Jones DL, Nicholas Morrow LB, and Al-Quadin Muchammaas EDGE. Unfortunately, Bears LB Roquan Smith did request a trade earlier this week. He is no longer looking to play with the Bears, as this would really hurt their defense. Chicago struggled on both sides of the field this past season, as they are hoping that these new additions will give them a spark. Chicago also had a solid draft, as they took Kyler Gordon with their second-round pick. The rookie CB from Washington will be looking to help the Bears' secondary, as they struggled against the pass in 2021. They also drafted Jaquan Brisker, as their new safety will be looking to organize this Bear's defense before each snap.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be riding with the Chicago Bears at home in their first preseason game of the season. The Bears look completely different, as they have a new head coach and they cut a ton of veteran players after last season. The Bears starters will play way more in this game than the Chiefs, as well. This is one of the main reasons I love the Bears, as they will also be playing more rookies so that they can gain more experience. I also have a ton of faith in Trevor Siemian as the backup quarterback in this one. He will be able to come into this game after Justin Fields exits and keep the offense rolling. He can find open receivers and he has enough experience to deal with the Chiefs' backups. The Chiefs have also struggled in the preseason as the road underdog. They are (15-29) ATS in their last 44. The Chiefs starters will play way less than the Bears, as they will be able to slowly pull away throughout this game. I see the Bear's secondary being better than last season, as they will be able to lock up the Chiefs' wide receivers. I also don't see Chad Henne getting the job done for the Chiefs. The Bears' starters will play longer than the Chiefs and I love the Bears' new additions.
They will get the job done in this one. Pick the Chicago Bears and lay the points (-3.5).
Full-Game Total Pick
I realize this total is low, but I still see the defenses having the advantage to start this game. The Bears were one of the worst offensive teams last season and I don't see them exploding in this game. Their starters will play "a good amount" of snaps, but it won't be enough for them to get their offense going. They will struggle to move the ball up the field, as the Chiefs will be able to hold this young offense down. I also don't see Siemian or Nathan Peterman scoring many points. They have both been starters but are now benched for a reason. Now, the Chiefs will have their backups in for the majority of this game, as I don't see them scoring a lot of points either. Chad Henne struggles to move the ball and I don't have any faith in Shane Buechele or Dustin Crum, as the Bears will be able to keep both of them off the scoreboard. The Bears were one of the worst offensive teams in the league last season and the Chiefs won't have their high-powered offense on the field for very long if they put them out there at all.
Take the under (34.5) and expect both of these teams to stay stagnant when they have the ball. I don't trust their backup quarterbacks.