If you want to make this week’s edition of Sunday Night Football interesting, here’s a potential drinking game. Every time a broadcaster mentions the fact that Mitch Trubisky was taken before Pat Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft, drink a full pint glass of Malört. Or bleach. Or motor oil. Or better yet, blow off the drinking game and just watch the game on mute.
If there was any thought that Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers would take the steam out of the remainder of the 2019 season, this match-up immediately dispels that notion. Sure it’s primetime, national television, Soldier Field. But more than any of those things, it’s Mitch versus Mahomes, for the first time. To this point in their careers, the battle has been a hypothetical one. And Mitch has been hypothetically knocked unconscious in the first round.
But two seasons do not a career make. And don’t think for a second that Mitch doesn’t know it.
The beleaguered quarterback has been fiery of late, especially with the media. He’s playing with more anger, and more urgency, and more fight. Many of the NFL’s failed quarterbacks didn’t want to be great; didn’t put in the work required to achieve greatness. Mitch doesn’t have those problems. He wants it. He works for it. But he’s still nowhere near the top shelf of NFL quarterbacks, even while showing multiple flashes of the ability Ryan Pace expected on a week-to-week basis when he selected him second overall.
Green Bay felt like a litmus test game for Trubisky but was it? If Trubisky plays well over these final two games, will anybody remember the one time he struggled over the final month plus of the season? And more importantly, if he can out-play the man whose success haunts him like the ghost of Jacob Marley, it could send a shock wave of positive vibes through the Halls of Halas and inspire confidence in the teammates who until recently had been questioning their signal caller in DMs across the internet.
A follower on Twitter (@mosconml) put it best. Trubisky has upgraded from “needs to be replaced” to “needs competition”. That’s where things stand now. When the clock strikes Monday things could be significantly different. Because while they’ll never be on the field at the same time, Sunday Night Football is all about Mitch vs. Mahomes. The latter has proven he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the sports. The former has proven nothing.
Tomorrow: Volume II, including the Game Prediction!