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One Version of How Patrick Mahomes Would Have Done as Bears QB

Would the Bears have a Lombardi Trophy? Would Mahomes have a 10-year contact? Would Matt Nagy even be the head coach?

Every Bears fan goes back to the day when Ryan Pace traded up to draft Mitchell Trubisky, and they suffer each time the fact he passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson is discussed.

On Monday they could only say "what might have been," after Mahomes signed what is reported to be a 10-year contract for about $500 million.

Imagine having a young quarterback who impresses everyone and he's under contract for a decade.

Think back if it's not too painful, and imagine Pace gets frustrated at the asking price for trading up and tells John Lynch to stick it. 

Instead, he moves back a couple spots and drafts Mahomes.

You've seen the image by now on the Sports Illustrated website: Mahomes in a Bears uniform.  


What would the Bears' fate have been starting in 2017 if this actually happened?

Of course it's impossible to say, but take a look at what happened to Mahomes and project it to the Bears and their personnel, coaching and situation in general.

Mahomes sat an entire year with the Chiefs in 2017 until the meaningless regular-season finale, and he learned with Mike Kafka acting as the quarterbacks coach while Matt Nagy was offensive coordinator working with Alex Smith. Nagy obviously had some hand in Mahomes' development, but it all came down to learning within the detailed Andy Reid system.

Instead of learning there for 15 games and watching Alex Smith, Mahomes comes to the Bears and gets to watch Mike Glennon at quarterback for four games before being thrust onto the field because coach John Fox's job will otherwise be in jeopardy.

Mahomes' quarterbacks coach is Dave Ragone. It's not Kafka. His offensive coordinator is Dowell Loggains. It's not Nagy.

It's the same Fox who won a game with two pass completions in Denver once, and had seven pass attempts from both Trubisky in Chicago and from Chris Weinke in Carolina during two victories.

Assuming Mahomes' head doesn't explode or twist around 360 degrees on his neck at some point in utter frustration, he would not be the effective quarterback in 2018 he was in Kansas City. He averaged 8.8 yards a pass attempt for the Chiefs and threw an incredible 50 touchdown passes that year.

Bears fans could only lick their chops thinking about that 2018 Bears defense put together with the 2018 performance of Mahomes and the Lombardi trophy.

What would have actually happened is quite different.

Instead, in 2017 Mahomes would have been playing and not learning. His natural talent would have been good enough to get the Bears several more wins than Trubisky could. But in Chicago he's not throwing to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He's throwing to Kendall Wright and Adam Shaheen or Zach Miller.

Mahomes' brilliance would have been just good enough to manage an 8-8 season and save the jobs of Fox and Loggains.

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There would be no Matt Nagy in Chicago. Realizing he lacked wide receivers and tight ends for Mahomes, Pace would never even have attempted to trade for Khalil Mack because he needed the draft picks to try and build an offense.

Vic Fangio's defense was solid in 2017 but nowhere near the elite status it reached with Mack on board. Fangio might still be defensive coordinator or he might have gotten the Broncos job anyway for 2019.

In 2018 the Bears would have been good enough to make the playoffs and lose their first game without Mack and with a much less talented defense. 

Mahomes' tight end, Trey Burton wasn't available in the playoffs because of a bizarre injury. Eddie Jackson got hurt and didn't play against the Eagles in that playoff game. Bryce Callahan was injured and didn't play against the Eagles.

Cody Parkey double-doinked it and the Bears bowed out in the first round of the playoffs against Doug Pederson, Nick Foles and the Eagles with Mahomes at quarterback, anyway.

And we reach 2019 and the Fox and Loggains train just keeps chugging along at a slow pace. The defense never reached the heights it did with Mack and is beginning to fall apart.

Allen Robinson and Mahomes make for a good combination but the Bears have no tight ends and their running game is terrible in 2019 because the line isn't blocking well without a healthy Kyle Long. 

Mahomes has to do it all himself.

Mahomes doesn't have the depth of offensive knowledge in our scenario that he actually possesses now because he hasn't been in a well-rounded offensive system with good coaches. He can't carry a team by himself. 

This isn't basketball, where one extremely talented individual can be responsible for such a great portion of success. It's still an 11-man game. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are a perfect example of this.

Without adequate blocking or an effective running game, Mahomes might even be injured now.

He wouldn't have a 10-year contract. 

The Bears would have thought seriously about not picking up his fifth-year option.

Maybe Fox would want them to spend the money on an offensive lineman.

The Bears would be no better off in terms of winning a title than they really are.

That darn Ryan Pace. If only he would have traded up to draft Mitchell Trubisky, then they could have traded for Khalil Mack and had a dominant defense and had a chance at a Super Bowl.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven