Few things are prettier in sports than a perfectly thrown deep ball from the quarterback to a receiver. The only other thing that rivals it might be a deep 3-pointer in basketball that hits nothing but net. With that being the said it seems as though Mitch Trubisky was summoning his inner Steph Curry (or Halloween Derrick Rose) against the Bucs when he first put on his shooting sleeve and started dropping deep balls right in the bucket. Much like the Bay Area sharpshooter, Trubisky seems like he needs to work himself into a rhythm before he really starts lighting it up on from the field. I’m sure you’ve heard of players “heating up” in the NBA, but it seems like Trubisky has been following a similar trend this year on the gridiron and the numbers certainly seem to back it up.

Statistically Trubisky has been having a pretty good season in total. 7 games into the year and he’s on pace for 4,100 passing yards and 34 touchdowns through the air to go with over 675 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. Those numbers are absolutely unprecedented for a Bears quarterback and both passing statistics would shatter the existing team records. He’s also led the offense into the top 10 for both yards and points per game, both numbers again shattering recent production from Chicago. What’s even more astounding though is when you compare these numbers to what he’s done since he started wearing the arm sleeve.

In the 4 games with the sleeve he’s thrown for 1,223 yards, 13 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions putting him on pace for over 4,800 passing yards with a mind blowing 52 touchdowns. Those are MVP numbers from the 2nd year signal caller if they’re sustained. What’s even more interesting about these statistics though, is the way Trubisky has gone about getting them. Much like an NBA shooter who needs to warm up his shooting stroke Trubisky gets more accurate as the game goes on. This is anything but a novel concept for young quarterbacks on paper, but when watching it live the disparity with Trubisky can be somewhat shocking.

Early in games there are times when even the easiest of passes and have throws that simply wouldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. In the 2nd half however, those throws tighten up as Trubisky finds ways to thread the needle and put his throws right on the money like his back shoulder throw to Anthony Miller against the Jets. On the season he’s completed 62.2% of his throws in the 1st half but that number jumps up to 66.7% in the 2nd. In his last two games the divergence is even larger. Against the Patriots his completion percentage went up by 20% after halftime and against the Jets it grew by an astounding 31% in the 2nd half.

While these numbers themselves are somewhat alarming, if it weren’t for the 1st drive success the Bears have had these stats would look even worse. In basketball, the best shooters only need 1 or 2 shots to get them going. If the Bears truly want to take the next step and become the offensive juggernaut Matt Nagy envisions them being, then they’ll need Trubisky to adopt this shooters mentality and get hot much sooner than halftime.

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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