The Chicago Bears will play their fourth and most important preseason game Saturday afternoon when they host Kansas City Chiefs.
The game is important because this is the “dress rehearsal game”, in which the starters prep for the game like its an actual regular season game and play into the third quarter. It is highly important for the Bears as they are under a new coaching regime and will be facing an opponent that is familiar with the team’s new offensive system.
Here are three Bears to watch for Saturday against the Chiefs:
Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will see his longest playing time and final game action of the pre-season on Saturday. He had mix results last week against the Denver Broncos as he did throw a touchdown and moved the offense consistently, but also fumbled a snap and threw an interception.
The Chiefs pose a good test for Trubisky because head coach Matt Nagy former team was the Chiefs. Nagy’s offensive playbook is very similar to that of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s playbook.
The other reason as to why this game is important to Trubisky is because it may be the first time he gets game reps with his projected top four wide receivers. Last week, wide receiver Allen Robinson made his Bears debut but had little impact.
This week Taylor Gabriel might return in which Trubisky will have wide receivers Gabriel, Robinson, Kevin White, and rookie Anthony Miller to throw to. Also, he will be able to work a two-minute offense which is all too important with a new offense.
Cornerback Kyle Fuller will get a good test on defense against a high power Chiefs passing attack. Fuller will be responsible for either covering new Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins or Pro-Bowler Tyreek Hill.
Fuller is the Bears best cornerback and is vital to the team’s pass defense as his play last season earned him a big contract in the offseason and proved that he is a quality cornerback. If he lines up against Watkins, it will be more of size matchup, while if he responsible for Hill, his main goal will be not to get beaten deep by the fastest wide receiver in the league.
The matchup is important as Fuller will be going up against some of the better wide receivers in the league to start the season. In his first four games, he will face receivers Devante Adams, Doug Baldwin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Mike Evans. Getting to face the Chiefs this week will show where Fuller’s at heading into the season and provide a good learning experience if he does make any mistakes.
Another defensive starter to watch for against the Chiefs offense will be outside linebacker Sam Acho. Acho will be the most experienced player at the position Saturday and will have a major responsibility of providing a pass rush against quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
With Leonard Floyd out with a broken hand and Aaron Lynch still sidelined with a hamstring injury, the Bears are lacking depth and talent at the outside linebacker position and need Acho to step up.
He has been with the team since 2015 and is one of the few defensive players to play under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme through the entirety of his Bears career. Acho recorded three sacks last season and has the potential to a force in the pass rush as his career high for sacks in a season is seven. The Bears need Acho to step up or else they will most likely need to add another pass rushing linebacker via free agency or trade when the rosters are finalized Labor Day weekend.