The Bears are 7-7 and only a game out of the last wild card in the NFC, something few expected just a couple weeks ago. And the much-maligned quarterback Mitchell Trubisky deserves a lot of credit for that.
Trubisky, who opened the season as the Bears’ starter, then was benched for Nick Foles, only to return to the lineup when Foles got hurt, has outplayed Foles this season.
Trubisky and Foles have each started seven games, and the Bears are 5-2 with Trubisky and 2-5 with Foles. The Bears have scored 198 points in the seven games started by Trubisky and 117 points in the seven games started by Foles. The Bears’ offense has gained 2,650 yards with Trubisky and 1,905 yards with Foles.
There are some caveats to that, namely that the Bears have played an easier schedule in the games Trubisky started than in the games Foles started. But that doesn’t explain the entire difference between Trubisky and Foles; the advanced stats that adjust for the quality of the defense faced also show Trubisky to be the better quarterback this season.
With Trubisky at the helm against the Vikings on Sunday, the Bears’ offense gained 397 yards and 23 first downs in a 33-27 win. Against that same Vikings Defense five weeks earlier, Foles started and the Bears’ offense gained just 149 yards and 10 first downs in a 19-13 loss.
If Bears coach Matt Nagy hadn’t given Trubisky such a quick hook, it’s entirely possible the Bears would have won that other game against the Vikings, and maybe another game or two as well. A game or two may prove to be the difference between the Bears making and missing the playoffs.