Comparing Bears QBs Mitchell Trubisky and Jay Cutler through first 4 seasons

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Ryan Fedrau
·3 min read
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After finishing his fourth regular season as the Chicago Bears starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky has done enough to bring his team to the playoffs. This will be Trubisky’s second playoff appearance in three seasons. That is something only three other quarterbacks have done in franchise history since 1970.

The three other quarterbacks to start a playoff game in multiple different seasons for the Bears were Jim McMahon (3), Mike Tomczak (2) and Rex Grossman (2).

The man who wasn’t on that list that many hoped would be was Jay Cutler. Cutler, who was under center for 102 games over eight seasons, only made the playoffs once. In fact, he only had a winning record in three of the eight seasons he was the Bears quarterback.

Things have changed with Trubisky under center. Though many have called for this to be his last season in Chicago, he’s already found more success under center than those who preceded him. So, how does Trubisky stack up against Cutler? Let’s go through both of their first four seasons with the team.

In 2009, the Bears made a franchise-changing trade to get Cutler as their signal-caller. Cutler, then 26, signed a five-year deal, worth $50.37 million.

During Cutler’s first four seasons, he started in 56 games, going 34-22 (.607). He threw 82 touchdowns, 64 interceptions for 12,292 yards and an 81.9 passer rating.

Cutler had a winning record in three of his first four seasons, along with one playoff berth. That lone playoff berth came in 2010, where he led the Bears to the NFC Championship.

In Trubisky’s first four seasons as the Bears quarterback, he is 29-21 (.580) as a starter, throwing for 64 touchdowns, 37 interceptions for 10,609 yards and an 87.2 passer rating.

Trubisky will start his second playoff game this Sunday against the Saints, giving him two playoff seasons in three years, which is more than Cutler did in his entire Bears career.

The disadvantage Trubisky has in this comparison is the fact that he ran a vanilla offense during his rookie season. At just 23, Trubisky was thrown into a wildfire with a rebuilding offense that little to no weapons. He also wasn’t throwing the ball much.

Outside of Trubisky’s rookie season, he’s had a winning record every season since. That’s three straight winning seasons for Trubisky, which is similar to what Cutler did from his second to the fourth season as the Bears quarterback.

In those winning seasons for both quarterbacks, Cutler went 27-13, throwing 55 touchdowns and 37 interceptions with an 84.3 passer rating. Trubisky, on the other hand, is 25-13, throwing 57 touchdowns and 30 interceptions with an 89.8 passer rating.

Not only is Trubisky statically better from Years 2-4, but he also has taken the Bears to the playoffs twice now. It’s fair to say Trubisky is underrated as a player.

The question now turns to, has Trubisky taken too much heat from the media and fans alike? The simple answer is yes. Trubisky has been great with fans, the media and has said all the right things. He’s outperformed Cutler since his rookie season, and it’s hard to make an argument where the team doesn’t extend him.

At the end of the day, the fans and media are missing the clean and obvious point. Trubisky is the better quarterback. He doesn’t turn the ball over as much as Cutler did, and he is by far a better leader.

No matter what happens in the playoffs, the Bears will be in a tough spot this offseason. The quarterback pool is very thin in free agency and they’re likely to miss the boat on some of the top-tier quarterback prospects.

So, the question becomes, has Trubisky played his final home game at Soldier Field? Or will he be their starting quarterback going into next season? The result on Sunday against the Saints could answer that question.

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