Phil Rivers, 2019. 4,615 yards. 23 touchdowns. 20 interceptions. 88.5 rating.
Andy Dalton, 2019. 3,494 yards. 16 touchdowns. 14 interceptions. 78.3 rating.
Marcus Mariota, 2019. 1,203 yards. 7 touchdowns. 2 interceptions. 92.3 rating. (Benched)
Mitch Trubisky, 2019. 3,183 yards. 17 touchdowns. 10 interceptions. 83 rating.
Many will argue, especially in the coming weeks, that signing an available free agent QB to compete with Trubisky is a futile exercise. “He’s not an upgrade,” they’ll argue, citing the statistics above. But one thing fans must be reminded of is that Trubisky’s issues went far beyond the statistics. Trubisky’s issues began well before the football was snapped.
Does Rivers still have the arm strength to light up a good secondary at Soldier Field in December? Probably not.
Does Dalton have the ability to eliminate the big interception? His career suggests he doesn’t.
Does Mariota have the ability to be consistently accurate with the football? The Titans sure don’t think so, and they’re right.
But all three of these quarterbacks are smart players. All three can read defenses. All three are savvy enough to get into the right protections. Do they all come with physical limitations? Yes. But Trubisky combines severe physical limitations (see: accuracy) with mental incompetence (see: pretty much everything).
As has been reported here, and elsewhere, Matt Nagy became increasingly frustrated with Trubisky over the course of the 2019 season. Not because he refused to his use legs at the appropriate time, or handed the ball off at the wrong incorrectly on RPOs, or missed wide open receivers down the field for big plays. He became frustrated with Trubisky because the quarterback proved incapable of running his offense mentally.
That’s why the free agent quarterback market will be so appealing to the Chicago Bears in the coming month plus. Because if Nagy is going to fail as a head coach, he’d at least like to fail with his offense and not with some dumbed-down, elementary version of it, restructured for a overwhelmed quarterback.
The Bears don’t need great quarterback play to compete for a championship in 2020. But they need at least a mid-table performance at the position. There are guys they can pay to achieve that.