Bears' attempt to salvage Mitchell Trubisky's confidence points to serious trouble

Laurence W. Holmes

It seems pretty clear the Bears are trying desperately to salvage Mitchell Trubisky's confidence. Some of the quotes that have come out of Halas Hall over the last few days have left everyone covering or following the Bears looking like the "hmm" emoji. Whether it's Matt Nagy, Mark Helfrich or Chase Daniel, there is a united front when it comes to telling you how good Trubisky has been over the last two weeks. It was punctuated on Thursday, with Daniel proclaiming how great of a practice Trubisky had.

To quote Allen Iverson: "We talkin' about practice?"        

The whole thing smacks of a bigger problem with the Bears quarterback. Clearly he's struggled this year and there are a number of metrics that we can point to, to make that case. When you put his numbers up against the two quarterbacks who were drafted behind him, it gets even worse. NFL research tweeted out a comparison earlier this week between Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), and DeShaun Watson (Texans).

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Obviously, most Bears fans have heard this before and are reflexively sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "La-la-la-la." What is scary is that these stats do not take into account what Watson did on Thursday Night Football against the Colts. Those stats tell an even sadder tale. In the Texans' 20-17 win vs. the Colts, Watson had five completions of 30+ yards. Two of those passes went for touchdowns. To put that into perspective, Trubisky has only six completions of 30+ yards for the entire season. 

By now, you may be saying to yourself, "Laurence, it's unfair to compare Trubisky to Watson and Mahomes." Well, what happens if you compare Trubisky to Trubisky? Forget about 30+ yard completions for a second. Let's bump the number up to 50+ yards. The difference is stark. Back in 2018, Trubisky had six completions of 50+ yards, the most of any quarterback in the NFL.

One of the biggest failings of the Bears offense this season is they still haven't countered-punched. Last year, Nagy's offense took people by surprise, but after Trubisky returned from his shoulder injury in Week 11, the book was out on how to slow him down. Most defenses decided the way to stop the Bears is to drop seven players into coverage, rush four and keep Trubisky confused until the rush gets home. Believe it or not, Trubisky is really good against "man" coverage. It was almost inexplicable that Detroit used it as their primary defense a couple of weeks ago. It is not a coincidence that Trubisky posted his highest passer rating (131.0) of 2019 against the Lions. A 12-yard check down in that game is one of the highlights that Nagy has pointed for an example of an improving Trubisky. 

At some point, stuff like that seems patronizing. The No. 2 pick in the draft is supposed to elevate his offense, not just be a bystander. If a third-year quarterback still needs public reassurances about practices and check-downs, the Bears are in serious trouble. Perhaps the Giants game will be a confidence booster for Nagy and Trubisky, but if he doesn't play well, even in a win, what type of pop-psychology will the Bears staff resort to next: helmet stickers, orange slices or Dilly Bars?  

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Bears' attempt to salvage Mitchell Trubisky's confidence points to serious trouble originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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