Much like the start of the 2018 season, the first few games this year for the Monsters of the Midway have left much to be desired.
While they currently sit at 1-1 after a tough, grind-it-out win in Denver this past weekend, there are obvious areas that the team needs to improve upon.
These problems all start with the offense and third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
A player that was expected by many to make a big step forward this season, Trubisky has shown a lack of progression thus far. Much of it may have to do with head coach Matt Nagy’s suspect play-calling, but through two full games, the North Carolina alum has managed just 348 passing yards, one interception, zero touchdowns, and a 22.1 adjusted QBR.
After Nagy decided to rest his starters throughout the entire preseason, some rust was expected from everyone, especially the team’s 25-year-old quarterback coming into his second season, especially in Nagy’s complex West Coast offensive scheme.
Numerous fans have already hit the panic button with their signal-caller, but as Bears writer Bryan Perez of
Trubisky Wk 1, 2018: 171 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT.
2019: 228 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT
Wk 2, 2018: 200 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
2019: 120 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Through 2 games:
2018: 371 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
2019: 348 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT
Record: '18: 1-1. '19: 1-1.
It feels A LOT worse, but it really isn't.
— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) September 16, 2019
The case-and-point here is that Trubisky hasn’t traditionally been a strong starter in the opening weeks of the season, but that didn’t stop him last year from throwing a career-best 24 touchdowns to pair with a 71.0 adjusted QBR (third-best in the NFL) on his way to a Pro Bowl selection.
The only difference this season: Bears fans came into 2019 with Super Bowl aspirations after a 12-4 finish last year. Critics have been quick to jump all over Trubisky … But it’s not the end of the world … just yet.
While he still didn’t look fully up to speed yet in Week 2, there were plenty of positive takeaways from Trubisky’s performance against a strong Broncos defense led by Vic Fangio. He looked better than he did in Week 1, going through his progressions, making the correct reads, and keeping the ball away from defensive-backs’ hands. Against Green Bay, Trubisky looked completely lost. However, it seemed that Nagy dialing-back the offense a bit for his QB was a good start at getting him back on track.
Trubisky acknowledged in his post-game presser that he’s not yet performed at the level he’s capable of this season and vowed to continue getting better in the coming weeks.
People are going to say what they’re going to say. I know I’ve still got a long way to go and improve my game but my job is to help my team win games. It wasn’t the prettiest but we came away with a win and I helped put us in a spot to let Eddy [Pineiro] boot that one through for the game-winner. We’re going to look at the film later and know that we’ve still got a ways to go and I’ve got to keep improving and making sure that I continue to put this team in a good place to allow us to win games.” – Mitchell Trubisky
If one thing’s certain, it’s that Trubisky has shown the ability to elevate his play when his back is against the wall. He proved this back in January when he took his team downfield in the waning moments of the fourth quarter in the Wild Card game against the Eagles, putting them in a position to win before the infamous Cody Parkey double-doink.
Trubisky showed he had ice in his veins yet again when he delivered a 25-yard strike to Allen Robinson in the final seconds of last week’s contest to set up the game-winning 53-yard boot from Eddy Piñiero as time expired. His incredible poise at the end of the game is a great place to build from as he continues to find his footing in the early stages of the season.
There’s undoubtedly still a lot for him to improve on, but stealing a win away from a Broncos team that had earned a 17-1 record in home-openers since 2001 prior to Sunday is a good place to start. He’ll have an opportunity to silence his critics next Monday night against Washington’s secondary that’s surrendered the 10th-most passing yards in the league through two weeks.