ATM: Can Trubisky Make the 2021 Quarterback Decision Interesting? Yes, He Can.

| December 16th, 2020

As the Chicago Bears offense had roared back to life with Mitch Trubisky under center, some Bears fans are getting excited about what his play can mean for his future and the future of the franchise.

The numbers over the past two weeks have been promising.

  • Two straight games with a passer rating over 100.
  • Averaging eight yards per attempt.
  • Completing about 75% of his passes.

Trubisky is finally playing the way the Bears hoped he would entering the season. But it’s still not good enough. And the most likely scenario remains that Trubisky becomes a compensatory pick for the Bears this off-season.

Lost in the hype of his three-game surge have been four catastrophic turnovers. They could’ve at least been in a shootout against the Packers if not for two horrendous interceptions and a lost fumble. Who knows what would’ve happened without Trubisky’s fumble against the Lions, but when he lost the ball, he made it very difficult for his team to win.

While Trubisky is nearing a 3-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and playing the best football of his career, the totality of what we have seen isn’t enough for the Bears to even consider investing in him long term.

Before the Monday Night Football game, Trubisky ranked 20th in the league in passer rating, 27th in completion percentage and yards per attempt. Going more advanced, he has the sixth-highest percentage of bad throws, according to Pro-Football-Reference.

Against Houston:

  • 13 of his 24 completions were within three yards of the line of scrimmage.
  • 9 of which were right at or behind it.
  • Only two came more than 10 yards down the field.

He was efficient, but we know efficiency isn’t something we can expect from him consistently.

It’s more likely that Trubisky’s improvement has come because he has played against bad defenses with a functional supporting cast around him. One could certainly argue that Sam Mustipher has been a bigger reason for the team’s improvement than Trubisky. Their 23-point performance against New Orleans still might be their best showing of the season. Mustipher was the center in that game and Trubisky only played one snap.

But that doesn’t mean Trubisky can’t make the decision at least interesting.

There’s no arguing that this is as good as we have seen the 26-year-old. Now can he finally take that next step? Can he make accurate throws down the field and avoid costly mistakes? That’s what starting-caliber quarterbacks have to do at this level. He’s never done it.

If Trubisky finishes the last three games on a tear, the Bears will at the very least have an interesting decision to make on if they want to commit to him for another season. They’d be out of position to draft one of the top four quarterbacks but there is an interesting crop of Day Two and Day Three passers expected to be available.

Trubisky is playing well but we’ve seen this before, in spurts. But we’ve never seen it for an extended period of time. He has three more games to show it isn’t a fluke.

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