Analytics: Mitch Trubisky was better than his stats suggest vs. Lions

Bryan Perez

It's Mitch Trubisky week in Chicago after the Bears defeated the Detroit Lions, 20-13, in Week 10's semi-breakout game at Soldier Field for the struggling third-year quarterback.

Trubisky tossed three touchdowns in the victory and finished the game 16-of-23 for 173 yards. He added eight yards rushing on three attempts.

The stats aren't great; they're solid. He threw three touchdowns, which isn't easy in the NFL, but he didn't dominate the Lions for four quarters like he did in 2018 when he passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns in Week 9.

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Still, Trubisky was better than he's been all season even if he did take too many sacks and was off-target more than Matt Nagy (or anyone wearing Bears colors) would've liked to see.

But as is often the case, stats don't tell the complete story of a player's performance. Enter analytics giant Pro Football Focus, whose grades for Week 10's game helps sharpen the focus on Trubisky's day. 

He was the team's third-highest graded player on offense with a 78.6, which also set a new watermark for his 2019 season. His next-highest grade is 60.7, which he registered in Week 9 against the Eagles. 

Allen Robinson's 80.6 was the only full-time starter who scored higher than Trubisky. Ben Braunecker's 90.9 was tops, but he only played 12 snaps.

Trubisky was especially effective when he had time to throw. He scored an 81.5 when the Bears' pass protection held up, completing 13-of-18 passes for 113 yards and all three scores when he wasn't under pressure. This stat is important to note because like any quarterback, Trubisky's struggles, at times, have been the product of a breakdown in pass protection. His grade dropped to a 63.5 on Sunday when pressure ensued around him.

Trubisky was also solid on passes that traveled beyond 20 yards. He completed three of his four downfield throws for 75 yards; it's a part of Chicago's offense that seemed to disappear over the team's four-game losing streak. Nagy's newfound commitment to the run should continue helping Trubisky and the offense's third-level passing game.

Was Trubisky great in Week 10? No, he wasn't. There were plenty of bad throws and bad decisions, but let's be honest: that isn't exactly shocking. What is surprising, however, is what he did well. And if there's anything to take from Sunday's game, it's that he at least has the potential to improve. 

At this point, 'potential' is better than anything we've seen in 2019.

 

Analytics: Mitch Trubisky was better than his stats suggest vs. Lions originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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