This Bears team is very good. This Bears team has a chance to make the playoffs. This Bears team may even have a chance to make a Super Bowl run. The only element that people think can hold the team back is Mitchell Trubisky. Here’s why that’s not a problem.
It’s clear that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky faces some of the most scrutiny of any quarterback in the NFL, which is completely unjustifiable. If he was in his third year in the system and wasn’t producing, then I’d be willing to scrutinize Trubisky the way everyone is right now. But, for now, let’s get into a little bit of context when it comes to his development. When the Bears drafted Trubisky, they were coming off a 3-13 season, one of the worst seasons in Bears history. Pace and the front office did not see the need to draft that quarterback who could come in and get wins for the team right away (that would be Deshaun Watson). In fact, Trubisky wasn’t even supposed to play in 2017 for as much as he did, but having Mike Glennon the field was an experiment far worse than the organization expected. So in just the fifth game of the season, he was asked to step in.
Now at that point, this was a quarterback who played just 13 games in college, so those who expected him to come in and light it up like Deshaun Watson (a guy who won the national championship) were insane. But the most important part of Trubisky’s game that became evident a year ago was that he did enough to help the team win and made the plays when they counted, and that’s a consistency that has rolled into this year. Whether it was the incredible scramble and throw to extend the drive vs. the Ravens or his elusive 13 yard run on fourth down to give the Bears a chance to win against the Lions, he constantly showed he could make plays when they counted. Let alone, he was operating in one of the worst schemes and had possibly the worst supporting cast of any team in the NFL.
Now here we are in 2018. He’s on pace for 4,000 yards and 30 TD’s as well as 600 rushing yards and currently on pace to have the greatest statistical season by a Bears quarterback ever, but, the only thing that matters is that he overthrew a receiver last week or that he didn’t throw the ball away one time. The national scrutiny and national narrative of Trubisky is absolutely ridiculous. Analysts love to evaluate young quarterbacks and love even more to tear them down and judge them when they make mistakes. Has he missed receivers? Yes. Has he made questionable decisions? Yes. Has he done enough to get the team wins? Yes. Look people, Mitchell Trubisky didn’t blow a 21 point lead for the Bears against the Packers, but people seem to believe that. In that case, why wasn’t anyone solely blaming Matt Ryan for blowing a 28-3 point lead in the Super Bowl? When Tru threw for six touchdowns, it was only because it was a bad defense. But when Patrick Mahomes throws for six touchdowns, he’s a star being born before our eyes.
The national narrative and scrutiny of Trubisky is so misconstrued and unjustified that even after a 41-9 Bears win, people are complaining about him. Those who still think he sucks need to understand that he is just in his eighth game in this scheme and his confidence is only growing every week. Many who love to berate him believe he gets his yards off screens and YAC (yards after catch). However, the Bears are outside the top 15 in throws five yards or less and are 24th in YAC, meanwhile, the Chiefs rank second in that category. In just his first year in this system, it’s not even fair to compare Trubisky to Mahomes (a guy who got to learn a whole year in one of the best schemes in football). The bottom line is, he has done enough to get the Bears wins, even in the biggest of games.
That being said, his ceiling is much higher than just being able to win games, and that has been evident throughout the year. His ability to run has only elevated his game and the offense, his ability to throw on the run and extend plays have been beyond impressive, and as a leader, he’s brought this team together and has gotten every coach and every player on the field to believe in him and trust in him, and that may be the most important of all. Don’t forget that he is surrounded by a coaching staff that is meant to make quarterbacks succeed (one that made Alex Smith look like a top ten quarterback last year). We’ve already seen the rapid progression from 2017 to 2018, and having Matt Nagy as our coach will only enhance Tru’s performance and confidence.
All in all, Mitchell Trubisky is blossoming before our eyes. He is on pace to have the best season by a quarterback in Bears history. Every quarterback makes overthrows, every quarterback mismanages a situation, and it’s going to happen to Trubisky again. But for now, everyone just needs to relax and understand that the Bears are first in the NFC North, third in the league in point differential, and have a man at the helm who can lead this team to the promise land.
Final tidbit: For those who STILL think Trubisky is bad, just know that this is a team that has the talent and coaching to make a Super Bowl run. If you really think the quarterback position is bringing this team down, remember the Bears made the Super Bowl in 2006 with Rex Grossman and made the NFC Championship in 2010 with Jay Cutler, and this Bears defense has the ability to be just as good as those teams in 2006 and 2010. So Bears fans, relax and appreciate what we are seeing from Trubisky, and understand that over time, it’s only going to get better.
Photo: NBC Sports