PFT 2019 storyline No. 7: Can Mitchell Trubisky take the Bears to the next level?

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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.

64 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 7: Can Mitchell Trubisky take the Bears to the next level?

  1. They caught a lot of people off guard with a last place schedule and a new gimmicky offense. But, will they be able to stay ahead of opposing defenses this year now that there is a year of tape on everyone on that offense? Will their defense be just as good with a new DC? Can Nagy continue to hide a QB that misses a lot of throws and trusts his legs more than his arm when he needs to make play?

    Quality team with quality coaching and a lot of quality players… but a lot of questions too.

  2. “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.”
    ——–
    So Mike, by your own admission, Madden ratings aren’t very good. Let’s not bring them into the conversation in future stories.

  3. No. Don’t get me wrong, they are doing ok, but they benefitted last year from an NFCN that was either in a little disarray/strife (Pack) or bedding in a new QB (Vikes) or coach (Lions). That’s why, despite all the Bears swagger, Pats walked into Soldier Field and walked right thru the Bears’ supposedly vaunted D, and why Eagles later dumped them out of the Wildcards. And why Bears, who thought too much of themselves, blamed it all on their kicker.

  4. ^And note going into 2018 they were listed as having the 7th hardest schedule, but updated strength of schedules in Jan actually said Bears only faced the 31st hardest (despite the Pats game) – which shows they faced opponents who massively underperformed.

  5. Lot to overcome to even keep pace with last year:

    * Will Bears have another fortunate years from injury perspective?
    * How will depth be after a meager draft class?
    * Can they compete as well against a more difficult strength of schedule this year?
    * Can defense match its performance last year with loss of Fangio?
    * How will offense perform now that defenses have a full year of scounting? Is this another Mark Trestman phenomenon with a solid first year followed by…dud?
    ———

    To me, that’s a lot of conditions for Mitch Trubisky’s to overcome…even if he does improve, which is anything but a guarantee. There’s a reason Vegas has them regressing this year

  6. hawkeye257 says:
    July 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm
    Short answer? No.

    —–

    Long answer? Noooooooooooooooooo.

  7. Sure he can!
    Do we publicly voice our doubt for Cam Newton, DeShawn Watson, Jameis Winston, or even Kyler Murray? Of course we don’t…so why then are we doubting Mitch Tribusky?

  8. I’ve seen you harp on the NE game more than once, Streety, so please don’t ignore the facts. The Bears won every meaningful stat in that game and the Bears aren’t the first team to get carved up by a masterful QB and the eventual SB winners. Trubisky’s picks were daggers. By the way, the team nor REAL Bears fans ever blamed the kicker. We know better.

  9. Bears fans with a keen understanding of the team’s history will be bracing for a back slide.
    _________

    From what I’ve seen, none of those fans are commenting on PFT.

  10. What, exactly, is their next level? Missing the playoffs by this much; that much? It ain’t 1986 anymore.

  11. The question is misleading, and part of the problem why so many teams dont compete for years. Can trubisky LEAD the bears to the next level? IMO probably not. But that bears team dsnt NEED him to do anything special. Just manage the game, and not turn the ball over. That team will win with its defense and solid run game. Every team tries to snag a Brady, rodgers, manning etc. Which isnt realistic. Build a team.

  12. “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.”

    That sounds like a perfectly mediocre quarterback performance…you know, a 75 out of 100 (C grade) sounds exactly spot-on correct.

  13. He did that, the kicker didn’t cooperate. I’m so tired of every win/loss and being put on the QB. We say football is the ultimate team sport, but in the same breath, only the QB gets the W or the L. Makes no sense, really.

  14. “…Bears are a long way from their 1984 through 1991 run, when they played in the postseason every year but one.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And the Favre/Rodgers run began in 1992 – coincidence?

  15. dryzzt23 says:
    July 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Sure he can!
    Do we publicly voice our doubt for Cam Newton, DeShawn Watson, Jameis Winston, or even Kyler Murray? Of course we don’t…so why then are we doubting Mitch Tribusky?

    Hmm…you want to defend one mediocre white quarterback so you complain that people aren’t also complaining about all the black QBs in the league?

    I bet you tell people you’re not a racist, don’t you?

  16. He should, he will give teams fits with speed size and ability to move. Accuracy can be improved and he is doing that. Plus I hate the bears, but not as much and packers.

  17. So far… Relies on his legs too much, can’t assess the field from the pocket, can’t make accurate throws.

    Of course with another off season he should be way better.

  18. gl0ckworkorange says:
    July 18, 2019 at 1:28 pm
    I don’t know. He was at the helm won they won games. So was Jim McMahon. He doesn’t have to be Aaron Rogers.

    —————-

    Aaron Rodgers isn’t even Aaron Rodgers any more.

  19. While I will readily admit that the Bears are better than my favorite team, based on what I saw last year (and Trubisky’s marginal success throwing downfield), I suspect that Trubisky’s skill standing alone can’t carry the the Bears further. It will have to be the system, good health and the defense — and that combo sure kicked you-know-what last year.

  20. No one was mentioning the fact in his first year Mitch was dealing with Fox as HC, Dowell Loggains as OC, and the worst WR core in NFL.

    The next year Mitch has an updated offense with Nagy as HC and new WRs as weapons. With only 13 college starts and 23 NFL starts (10 with a kindergarten offense), Mitch is still an unknown commodity. It’s 50/50 literally. Unlike Cutler though, he is loved by his teammates and works hard. We will see if that translate in the field this year

  21. I said it before last year, they’re still the most talented roster in that division. Rodgers, if he can return to being Rodgers, can be an equalizer, but that’s a big if at this point of his career. It is funny though that people who get paid to do this for a living couldn’t tell you that the Bear personnel was very good a year ago though. Do they know what they’re looking at or just repeating what someone tells them?

  22. The answer to the article’s question is NO. That doesn’t mean the Bears won’t get to the next level. It just means Trubisky isn’t going to be the one to propel them there. I’m sure that’s ok to the team and fans, as long as they get there. There’s a lot of talent on that team that can overcome Trubisky’s mediocrity and inaccurate passing. So they might get better as a team, but Mitch isn’t likely to become one of the top tier QBs (which we knew all along since they reached in a needless trade to draft him).

  23. With Nagy I think he can be a top 10 QB, should have beating my Eagles if Parkey didn’t blow chuncks. N.O. would have beat them too though.

  24. Look folks he doesn’t have to be much better. It is not like saying he needs to be twice as good, a 20% improvement from Mitch will be more than enough, to win 13 games, barring serious injuries to key players. Most of the comments are bias or just plain stupid. Stupid is when you do not know your are ignorant.

  25. Trubisky has potential.

    He is smart, he is a good athlete, and he has good accuracy.

    As with EVERY Young QB over the past two Decades, Trubisky’s success will have a direct correlation with the coaching that he receives.

    Matt Nagy is off the Andy Reid tree, and Andy is one of the best coaches of QBs in NFL history.

    These are the guys that made Donovan McNabb look good.

    I’ll bet Mitch takes a step forward this year.

    I know some guys in the Athletic Department at UNC and they said he is an OUTSTANDING young man. They loved him.

  26. Man, with the amount of haters out there, I’m starting to believe he gonna be the MVP… The Raider fans still can’t get over it. Most of the people that are posting against Trubisky are just jealous. Mark it down….Superbowl.

  27. Trubisky is one of those quarterbacks who are on the verge of bringing their play to the next level. Most of those quarterbacks can’t push themselves to greatness for some reason. He rarely does anything special, and when he does, it doesn’t seem like he did it on purpose.

  28. Mitch will be a back up in 3 years, he’s just not that good. Naggy did a great job of hiding his flaws, but even then, they eventually came out.

  29. oh how i hope he can be great and just stick it to the packers for the next 2 decades. but i don’t see it happening. he throws way way way too many interceptable passes. he’s decent when the running backs are going strong, but if you have to lean on him passing, he’s not reliable. he often just runs himself, which is a huge negative.

  30. It’s a shame that there were two really good QBs with documented stellar play in multiple college seasons in that draft and the Bears passed on both to trade up (when they didn’t need to) for a one-year wonder in Trubisky.

  31. The Bears are going to sweep the division! They have one of the best defenses in the league, Trubisky is clearly on the up and all the defensive players are coming back young and healthy (excluding Callahan and Amos, who was probably the weakest or one of on the D.)

  32. I’m sorry stats mean something. Until they don’t. Even Kirk Cousins admits he’s a .500 QB and he has all the stats in the world. Yet someone invested elite money in him. SKOL!!!

  33. The correct answer boys and girls is I don’t know. That is because NONE of us do. I see comments that say he makes good plays only by mistake. That means you are not watching. He has shown a good arm, very good running, and poor accuracy. When he makes quick decisions he is very accurate. My hope, as a Bears fan, is that this means that as he learns more his passes will be accurate quote often. I DON’T KNOW though just like ALL of you!

  34. shlort says:
    July 18, 2019 at 4:24 pm
    Trubisky is one of those quarterbacks who are on the verge of bringing their play to the next level. Most of those quarterbacks can’t push themselves to greatness for some reason. He rarely does anything special, and when he does, it doesn’t seem like he did it on purpose.

    ——————-

    Vikings fans have been thru this same false dawn Bears fans see in Trubisky with Christian Ponder.

    It ain’t gonna happen.

    Bears fans should take a long, hard look at the PFF article on Trubisky’s outlook based on stats that historically remain largely unchanged.

  35. Can the Chicago Bears go to the next level with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback? Absolutely – they’re a team on the rise and Trubisky is a gifted athlete and qb.

  36. @ Streetyson

    Pats Walked on vaunted D? 2 ST TDs was the reason for the win. How often goes that happen.

  37. Here’s the thing about Mitch. Are Mahomes and Watson more talented pure throwers? Yes. But what I LOVE about Mitch that you can’t teach and can win us a Super Bowl is his DESIRE. Now maybe Mahomes and Watson have desire too, but something tells me they don’t want it as bad as Mitch does. You can tell 52 guys absolutley feed off Mitch because he’s all about TEAM. Talent wise, his arm good enough, and has stellar mobility…which is HUGE when you are less talented than your peers as a thrower. His accuracy and decisiveness need work, but I see no reason why this kid, if he puts in the hours, can’t become a cerebral assassin like Brees.

  38. Opposing defenses did have a full year to evaluate the Bears offense. At the same time, Trubisky was working with all new receivers last year and he has had a full year to get in better tune with them. Defenses keyed on Howard out of the backfield because he wasn’t a threat to catch balls out of the backfield. The Bears now have 4 RB’s, two of which can line up as wideouts, that can catch the ball and break tackles. This offense will be way more unpredictable than last year, and they weren’t all that predictable. Trubisky had a lot of overthrows last year, and I’m not fully convinced it was by design to avoid INT’s, but overall, I think he’s a good fit for this Nagy offense. Injuries will have to be avoided to match last year’s win total with this tougher schedule.

  39. It’s fun to see the Bears haders showing up again, that means they’re more concerned than their Posts will ever let on. Trubisky isn’t the answer to Brady, but he can be the answer to McMahon who had more LEADER in him than Quarterback.

  40. Vikings4Life says:
    July 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    You can’t teach accuracy…he will be a back up in a few years.

    _________________________

    What have have accuracy, but you don’t have anything else like Stafford. The guys has been turning the ball over for ten years in critical games. Trubisky has potential and could possibly be a very good QB even though you don’t think will doesn’t make it true kid.

  41. Vikings4Life says:
    July 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    You can’t teach accuracy…he will be a back up in a few years.

    _________________________

    What if you have accuracy, but you don’t have anything else like Stafford. The guy has been turning the ball over for ten years in critical games. Trubisky has potential and could possibly be a very good QB even though you don’t think he will doesn’t make it true kid.

  42. All I know is last year in the biggest game of their year ie playoff vs eagles, at the biggest pressure moment of tje game, with time running out needing one last drive, Trubinski made a steller LASER throw on 3rd down to get them into a typically sure field goal range of 43 yards to win the game.

    That’s EXACTLY what Brady, Brees, Rodgers do*… And Mitch DID IT.

    *except their kickers always MAKE a 43 yard field goal

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