Mitch Trubisky will get another chance to impress us tonight against the Cardinals, but before we look ahead to his next game, let’s take one last look at his performance in the first pre-season game of the year.
You can watch each of Trubisky’s throws from the Chicago Bears’ preseason-opening loss against the Denver Broncos here, and check out what we learned below:
From the Shotgun
As expected, Trubisky took a majority of his snaps out of the shotgun formation. There were two reasons why this was predictable. Dropping Trubisky in the shotgun as often as they did (18 pass attempts) put the quarterback in a familiar situation, which allowed him to acclimate to the pro game while in a comfortable setting – one that helped lead him to becoming the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. But that’s not the only reason it made sense. For whatever reason, the 2016 Bears ran 62.8 percent of their offensive sets from the shotgun. That includes 81 percent of the team’s passing plays. Yes, the Bears spent much of 2016 chasing teams from behind, but they also had a 1,300-yard running back who went to the Pro Bowl. So while playing from behind was a factor, perhaps the Bears are doing this all by design.
At any rate, Trubisky thrived when put in the shotgun formation. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, which adds up to a 102.1 passer efficiency rating. As a point of comparison, Bears quarterbacks owned an 80.8 passer rating out of the shotgun.
Under Center and On The Run
Remember when Trubisky was having troubles with the quarterback-center exchange? Fun times.
Luckily, Trubisky had no such issues in the preseason opener – as any botched snap would have likely sent Bears Twitter into a frenzy.
Perhaps that is a testament to the work he has put in during (and after) training camp practices. If so, good on him for taking that initiative and applying it to game action. If there’s one thing I want to see out of Trubisky in his second preseason appearance, it’s continued efficiency when placed under center. All things considered, Trubisky was efficient and notably active when put in this position. He completed each of his six attempts from under center, gaining 49 yards through the air in the process.
The most notable aspect of Trubisky’s play when taking snaps from under center as opposed to the shotgun was seeing four of those six attempts coming while rolling right and coming off play action. This is where you could make an argument Trubisky did his best work while on the run against the Broncos.
When he was throwing off play action and on the run while under center, Trubisky was 4-for-4 for 39 yards.
Trubisky played so surprisingly well, it’s hard to pinpoint where where exactly improvements can be made. However, football is a humbling game where adjustments aren’t just made on a week-by-week basis, but also series-by-series. The more game film teams get on Trubisky, the more difficult it will get for the rookie quarterback.
With that said, Trubisky will eventually face some adversity. It might even come tonight against the Arizona Cardinals. From there, we’ll be better able to dissect Trubisky’s game and maybe have a better idea on how to project his future – even if it’s just in the short term.