CHICAGO - On Sunday night, two of the three quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft will square off in prime time at Soldier Field. Patrick Mahomes vs. Mitch Trubisky. Bears against Chiefs. "Sunday Night Football."
You're probably aware.
Inevitably, the national spotlight will shine over the disparity between the production of the two young quarterbacks. Mahomes is the league's reigning MVP and has thrown for 8,987 yards with 73 touchdown passes in his first 29 career regular-season starts. Plus he has the Chiefs again eyeing a deep postseason run.
Oh, and yeah, for those who didn't remember, the Bears passed on selecting Mahomes in the 2017 draft to pick Trubisky, whose inconsistency in 2019 has been a significant reason the Bears are out of playoff contention a week before Christmas.
Trubisky's regular-season numbers through his first 39 starts: 8,190 yards and 48 TD passes.
Still, as Matt Nagy emphasized after Wednesday's practice at Halas Hall, Trubisky can't allow himself to get sucked into a one-on-one battle with Mahomes this week. He has to block out the conversation about the quarterbacks and instead stay locked in on the Bears' game plan.
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"Don't worry about that; it's the Bears versus Chiefs," Nagy said. "That's the easiest way (to approach it). The second you start getting into individual comparisons, whether it's me and Coach (Andy Reid) or it's the quarterbacks or it's their D-linemen and our D-linemen ... All that stuff? That's trouble. That's how I handle it.
"We don't even talk about it. It's important for our guys to worry about the unit. Otherwise, if you start worrying about the individual stuff, it doesn't normally go too well."
The Bears traded up to draft Trubisky at No. 2 in 2017. In so doing, they also passed on Deshaun Watson, whom the Texans drafted at No. 12, two picks after the Chiefs took Mahomes.
Both Mahomes and Watson were named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday while Trubisky is simply trying to salvage what's left of his season and working to show growth that can help him ascend in 2020 and beyond. Trubisky was asked directly Wednesday how he will handle the comparisons to Mahomes this week.
"The comparisons are out there and they are never going to stop," Trubisky said. "It's kind of me, Pat and Deshaun all grouped together because we were in the same draft class, drafted in the first round and all that. But there are no do-overs. We are where we are. Our careers are going on different paths and they will for the rest of time. And (we'll) be compared against each other.
"It's just the nature of the beast. But I'm in competition with myself and just trying to be the best version of me to go out there and win games for the Chicago Bears. It's just something I can't control."
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