Fans who wanted Mitch Trubisky to play well in the Chicago Bears’ all-important third preseason game got what they asked for on Sunday … but Mike Glennon might have done just enough to maintain his spot as the team’s QB1.
Even Trubisky came away impressed:
#Bears QB Mitch Trubisky on QB Mike Glennon: "I thought he balled out today, which is awesome to see."
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 27, 2017
After splitting first-team practice with Trubisky, Glennon showed why GM Ryan Pace trusted him to keep the seat warm while his understudy learned the ropes in what might have been the biggest game of his professional career.
Starting in the shadow of his own goal post, Glennon led a 15-play, 96-yard drive that featured some precision passing and sharp plays from the Bears’ receivers. Glennon went 7-for-9 for 84 yards, completing passes to five different receivers. But what might have been most impressive from that drive was Glennon’s attention to detail and execution of what appeared to be the Bears’ early plan of attack.
Glennon targeted Titans rookie cornerback Adoree’ Jackson five times, completing passes on four of those attempts. Kevin White grabbed the first on a bubble screen that went for 11 yards, Cam Meredith snagged a 28-yard gain, and Kendall Wright was on the receiving end of a 10-yard and 4-yard connections. The one incomplete pass actually resulted in a pass interference penalty on Jackson in the end zone as he attempted to defend White on a fade route. Put aside that attempt, and Glennon was 4 of 4 for 53 yards when throwing at the rookie on that drive.
If Glennon wants to be a season-long fixture under center for the Bears, he’ll need to flash those smarts and successfully attack weak spots in opposing secondaries.
He will also need to adjust to life without Meredith, who left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and will be out for the year if an MRI confirms a torn ACL. Glennon was 8-for-10 for 100 yards and a touchdown before Meredith was sidelined, but completed just 3 of 8 attempts for 34 yards after. Glennon led a second scoring drive, as Connor Barth put through a 41-yard field goal to cap a two-minute drill.
While things started for Glennon on a high note, the same can’t be said about Trubisky’s debut with the 1’s.
The No. 2 overall pick saw time with the first-team offense, as was expected, and showed some flashes of brilliance after a slow start. Trubisky led a three-and-out on the first drive and looked like a rookie while doing so. He threw an incomplete pass intended for Wright on 1st-and-10 and couldn’t connect with White on 3rd-and-14. Trubisky’s second drive ended poorly with the following sequence: Timeout, stumbles out of a snap under center, interception dropped by Titans LeShaun Sims, completed pass to Deonte Thompson, delay of game.
What happened after the second drive stalled was exactly what you want to see from a rookie looking to earn his place.
Things turned for Trubisky starting with the third drive, settling into a groove going 4-for-4 and throwing this 45-yard touchdown to Tanner Gentry:
Mitchell Trubisky 45 yard TD to Tanner Gentry pic.twitter.com/8xovpcXhGx
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) August 27, 2017
So after starting 3 of 6 for 33 yards, Trubisky finished strong by throwing for 95 yards while completing 7 of 9 passes. When it was all said and done, Trubisky completed 10 of 15 passes for 128 yards, and posted a 115.4 rating.
Mark Sanchez, who has been the No. 2 quarterback since signing as a free agent, did not play a snap. Connor Shaw finished out the fourth quarter going 2-for-3 for 22 yards.