Once the Bears were eliminated from playoff contention by the Packers in Week 14, with a chance to flex them out of prime time this Sunday night to air the Saints and Titans game — two clubs in the thick of the playoff chase — why did the NFL choose to stick with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to Chicago?
Good business sense.
Chicago is the country's third-largest TV market, with Kansas City 32nd, while Nashville and New Orleans are currently 27th and 50th, with 4.16 million local TV homes versus 1.65 million.
It also goes without saying that while Drew Brees is a big story these days, the Bears still have by far the biggest national following and highest profile of these four clubs, and reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs fireworks offense make them a strong No. 2.
When you throw in Andy Reid, one of the best coaches in the NFL today, facing his protégé, Matt Nagy, who happens to be the reigning Coach of the Year and Reid’s closest confidant, and an improving-but-still-developing Mitch Trubisky, drafted second overall in 2017, facing off with Mahomes, taken eight picks later, you have a prime-time, made-for-TV reality show.
What does Trubisky think about it all? He says not much.
“You just play your game and find a way to win for your team.
“The comparisons are out there and they are never going to stop. There are no do-overs, we are where we are.
“Our careers are going in different paths, and they will for the rest of time, and they’ll be compared against each other. It’s just the nature of the beast; it is what it is.
“Hopefully we just keep getting better and help the league.”
For Nagy, though, the emotions will run a bit deeper, as he says Reid is the man most responsible for getting him where he is today.
“Yes, without a doubt.
“I'd be remiss to not talk about Brett Veach (Chiefs general manager) as well because Brett was my teammate at Delaware, getting my name to Coach Reid when I started.
“But then once we got into that thing, Coach Reid just took me under his wing and we built trust with one another. I'm just very appreciative.”
Nagy says Reid’s been huge in helping him get through a much more difficult second season than his rookie campaign.
“He’s just a calming presence. He’s somebody that I trust as a friend, as a mentor.
“The amount of trust that I have for him and the experience, the life experiences and the coaching experiences that he’s been through, and the experiences we’ve been through together for so many years, he’s taught me to be who I am as a coach and taught me to be myself as a human being, and so when those times arise, where you need a little bit of advice from somebody whose been through something, he’s the guy I go to.
“He’s one of my favorite people in the world.”
Reid talked Wednesday about how he’s tried to guide Nagy.
“Unfortunately, there's things that come into it that you can't control.
“That's what makes Matt so unique. I mean, he's so mentally tough. He tries to get the best out of his guys. The guys know that. And so, he'll be fine.
“I think he's great for the city of Chicago. I was in Green Bay for all those years and then in the NFC for those years, so I know Chicago. Chicago is a tough place. It's a blue-collar place, and that's what he is.
“He's a central PA guy that he's got that toughness. I just think it's a great fit.”
Reid’s coaching tree is the most impressive in the NFL right now, so why does he talk with Nagy the most?
”Nags and I talk quite a bit. I don't know, I like talking to him.
“He's so passionate about it and he works hard, long hours, and we end up talking. I can't tell you why, I don't know why, that's just the way it seems to work.”
Sunday night for three hours they will be fierce opponents, then they will leave the field two of the NFL’s staunchest allies.