Let’s overreact to Week 7 in the NFL: The Bears will miss the playoffs

Updated: October 21, 2019

6:55 AM ET

Just before halftime Thursday night, things appeared to have taken a bleak turn for the Chiefs, their fans and really anyone who wants to believe things can be good and special in this wild, unpredictable world. Patrick Mahomes, the most thrilling player in today’s NFL, was lying on the ground with his kneecap in the wrong place, and the Chiefs were facing life without the league MVP — a potential Super Bowl season headed down the drain.

If ever there was a time when overreaction was justified, that might have been it. But the sun came up Friday, the MRI news came back as good as it could have, and it looks as if Mahomes might miss only three games.

Then Sunday rolled around, and the Raiders got smoked by the Packers and the Chargers shot themselves in their one remaining unshot toe, and … well, that leads us to the first proposition in this week’s Overreaction Monday column:

The Chiefs will survive Mahomes’ absence

The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Look, it absolutely stinks Mahomes has to miss any amount of time at all. He’s breathtaking to watch — the game and the league are better when he’s on the field — and no matter whom you root for, you can’t be happy he is hurt. But look at what has happened around the injury. The Chiefs finished the game that very night and beat the division-rival Broncos. The Raiders’ and Chargers’ losses Sunday left 5-2 Kansas City as the only AFC West team with a winning record.

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  • The schedule is no fun. If Mahomes misses only three games, they will be home games against the 6-1 Packers and the 5-2 Vikings and a road game at the 3-4 Titans. Replacement quarterback Matt Moore is a veteran for whom the spotlight won’t be too bright. The offense is loaded with playmakers who can help him out. And with a game-and-a-half lead on the Raiders and a three-game lead on the rest of the division, the Chiefs can afford to lose one or a couple of those games and still be in position to coast home with an AFC West title once Mahomes is healthy.

    The Chiefs might even still be in position to claim one of the AFC’s top two seeds. It was the most unimaginable injury absence a few days ago. But given what has happened since, the Chiefs should be OK without Mahomes for a little while.

    The Bears will miss the playoffs

    Chicago went into its Week 6 bye off a somewhat inexplicable loss to the Raiders in London. It returned with starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky healthy and set for a get-right home game against the Teddy Bridgewater Saints. But the Teddy Bridgewater Saints aren’t undefeated by accident, and they put it on the Bears at Soldier Field. The 36-25 loss dropped the Bears to 3-3, suddenly a distant third place in the NFC North.

    The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. There was no better candidate for negative regression when this season began than the Bears, who went 12-4 last season against a last-place schedule and set an impossibly high defensive standard.