Long Journey To The Middle – Bears Positional Report Cards: Quarterback – If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Say Something Anyway

Let’s get this out the way immediately – if Ryan Pace didn’t draft Mitch Trubisky, then Trubisky wouldn’t be the Bears starter, he probably wouldn’t even be on the team. But he did, so he is; and we are going to have to learn to deal with it.

Not a single player on the 2019 Bears took a more precipitous fall from grace that the Bears #10. It was, in a word, bad. Just plain bad. Inconsistency was the only constant you got from Trubisky week in and week out.

But why? And how?

Well, you can blame the head coach, who is calling plays as a generality, and not really tailored to a specific player or offense. You can also blame an inept O-Line, who were inexperienced and couldn’t protect a QB who was desperate to check down every time he felt some pressure. You can blame a running game, which was non-existent much of the year, and let defenses tee-off on a sub-standard passing game. But at the end of day, the lack of success at the quarterback position must be the responsibility of the player himself.

So, let’s unpack Mitch Trubisky’s 2019 season according to the numbers:

The Good:
Trubisky continued to do a great job of protecting the ball this season, finishing with 10 interceptions against 17 touchdowns. These are numbers that reflect more of a game manger than a gunslinger, but with the dominance of the Bears defense, this is not a team that needs a guy who is going to throw for 5,000 yards. In addition to throwing only 10 INTs, Trubisky only fumbled three times. Ball security in the NFL cannot be understated, and this is something a struggling QB and a struggling offense can continue to build on heading into next season.

The Bad:
For a guy who operates on check-down first philosophy, Mitch Trubisky finished 18th in the league with a 63.2% completion percentage. This must improve, especially given his yards per completion rank 32nd league wide.

The Ugly:
Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of Trubisky’s 2019 season was the regression we saw, both statistically and with a simple eye test. In 2018, Trubisky had:
• A higher completion percentage (66.6% vs. 63.2)
• More passing yards (3,223 vs. 3,138) in less games
• A higher yards per completion (7.4 vs. 6.1)
• More TD passes (24 vs. 17)
• Less sacks taken (24 vs. 38)
• A higher passer rating (95.4 vs. 83)

This is not at all what you want or expect from a guy who had other year of experience in the same system in addition to an improved receiving corp.

How bad was it this season?

When you look at the four most important QB categories (Yards, TD’s, INT’s, QBR), the highest Mitch Trubisky ranked in any single category is 18th. In the three other categories, he ranks in the bottom five in two, and the bottom 10 in one. This is what you expect from a guy who was searching for some semblance of confidence all season. Mitch developed a check-down to touchdown mentality, whereas this has become a touchdown to check-down league. Above all, this is why this team and this QB struggled this season. A positive to take from this is that this mentality can be corrected and changed, often very quickly.

Final Grade = C-

If I was to grade Mitch Trubisky on his play alone, it would have been worse. But you cannot evaluate his season without considering an offensive coordinator who did him zero favors and a general manager who didn’t have the greatest supporting cast in place.
I expect a huge bounce-back year from #10 in 2020, because I expect him and everyone around him to be better. Doesn’t that sound horribly familiar?

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