The 2018 Chicago Bears stunned the NFL with an unlikely NFC North championship in the first year of coach Matt Nagy’s tenure and the second season of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s career. With Trubisky now having a full season under his belt both as a starter and as the starter in Nagy’s system, the question is whether Trubisky (under Nagy’s guidance) can take the Bears to the next level.
The Bears don’t get to the next level very often, and when they do they don’t hang around for long. Successful seasons are sporadic, followed by disappointment that often lasts for several years. For the Bears, consecutive playoff berths haven’t happened since 2005 and 2006. And the Bears are a long way from their 1984 through 1991 run, when they played in the postseason every year but one.
Last year’s division title ended the longest playoff drought for the Bears since the merger, and Bears fans with a keen understanding of the team’s history will be bracing for a back slide. Whether that does or doesn’t happen may hinge in many respects on what Trubisky can or can’t do with the offense.
The folks at Madden don’t believe in Trubisky, slapping him with a 75 rating. He’s clearly much better than that; he completed 66.6 percent of his passes, he threw 24 touchdown passes against 12 interceptions, and he averaged 7.4 yards per attempt. He added 421 rushing yards, averaging 6.2 per run.
Ultimately, the question for 2019 will be whether Trubisky is good enough to elevate the entire offense, to complement (and boost) the defense, and to play the foundation for not just another home playoff game but maybe a bye week — and maybe a postseason victory. Opposing defenses will have had a full year’s worth of film to digest and dissect; Nagy’s ability to counter that and Trubisky’s ability to execute that plan becomes the key.