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Three Key Players for Bears-Chiefs

The Chicago Bears take to the road again, this time traveling to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs. Which Bears players are most important for the team to pull out a win in one of the league's toughest stadiums?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears head into Week 5 in about as good of shape as they could be after facing the Packers, Seahawks and Cardinals in the opening weeks of the season. Chicago notched its first victory of the Ryan Pace/John Fox era last Sunday be defeating the Raiders.

Now it's back on the road to face a Kansas City Chiefs team that, at 1-3, is as about as disappointing as the Bears are.

However, one similarity is that the quality of opponents each has faced. While the Bears have faced a who's who of NFC playoff and Super Bowl contenders, the Chiefs have done the same on the AFC side. Since defeating the Houston Texans in Week 1, the Chiefs have fallen to the Packers, the Bengals and the Broncos.

So are these two teams as bad as their record shows or is it simply a matter of each facing quality opponents that they may simply not have the talent to hang with quite yet? Each team's fan base will be looking to answer those questions in Sunday's game.

These two teams actually enter the game having allowed the same number of points to their opponents (125) which is good for dead last in the league. Again, is that a product of having bad defenses or simply playing good opponents?

The Bears' defense actually ranks seventh overall in the league in terms of yards allowed per game, but the points stats suggests that opponents must have good field position and be getting helped out by turnovers generated by the offense. Chicago boasts the fourth best pass defense in the league, allowing 189.8 passing yards per game, but despite the stingy yards they are surrendering, they've allowed 10 passing touchdowns (versus 2 rushing TDs allowed). Those 10 passing TDs, tied with Buffalo, trail only one team: the Chiefs.

Chicago ranks 24th against the run, where they have given up 119.2 yards per game. The Chiefs rank 14th, allowing 101.5.

These stats suggest that the offenses will have the advantage Sunday and should find something to work with.

So who are the key players for the Bears?

The Offensive Line - I always try to shy away from having an entire position group listed but with all the injuries and shuffling, there is no other way around it. There will likely by two back ups in the game Sunday in Charles Leno and either Hroniss Grasu or Patrick Omameh. Whoever is out there and whatever position they are playing they will be facing two of the best OLBs in the game in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. If the Bears want to pull off the road upset, they need their front five to sustain their blocks and slow down that pass rush.

Tracy Porter, CB - After surprising some fans last week in his season debut by shutting down Raiders rookie sensation Amari Cooper, Porter will likely get another tall task this week in Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has caught fire the past two weeks; after combining for 109 yards on nine catches in weeks 1 and 2, he's exploded for 19 catches and 289 yards and a touchdown in weeks 3 and four with back-to-back 140+ yard efforts. Slowing him down will be a big key for a secondary that has been generous with TD passes surrendered.

Pernell McPhee, OLB - The third spot is tricky because there are so many ways it can go but I'm going with McPhee for a couple of reasons: 1) He's been the Bears' best defender the past couple of games and that absolutely must continue and 2) Following from reason 1 is that he is asked to do so many things. On Sunday he will have to rattle Alex Smith and perhaps, at times, be ready to cover Jamaal Charles out of the backfield or Travis Kelce in coverage. McPhee is athletic enough for these tasks, but those are arguably Kansas City's two best offensive weapons and slowing them down will be imperative for a win.

Honorable mentions: Alshon Jeffery (if he plays), Marquess Wilson (if Jeffery doesn't), Special Teams (That's Dave Toub on the KC sideline), Adrian Amos, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Goldman

Which Bears players do you think will be key to a victory?