Mitch Trubisky’s numbers from Sunday were … unimpressive, but don’t let that stop you from walking away encouraged after his second regular season start. After all, he became just the second rookie quarterback to beat the Baltimore Ravens on the road and the first (rookie QB) to knock off a John Harbaugh-led team. That’s no small order.
So let’s check out that final line: 8/16, 113 yards, 7.1 yards/attempt, 1 TD, 0 INT, 4 sacks, 94.0 rating.
Pro Football Focus gave Trubisky a 73.6 grade for his efforts on Sunday, which happens to be the second best grade given to a Bears quarterback this season. It’s also the best showing by a Bears quarterback since Mike Glennon’s Week 1 grade of 76.8 against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, Glennon was never able to replicate his season-opening performance and followed with grades of 59.2, 69.0, and 53.6 before being unseated by Trubisky.
Trubisky’s 50 percent completion rate from Week 6 is an eye sore, but PFF notes that six of his eight incomplete passes were throwaways and none were turnover-worthy. We thought his back-breaking interception against the Vikings had the potential to be a teachable moment, and perhaps it was because another one of those could have easily sunk the Bears on Sunday.
If Trubisky can limit interceptions in a run-based offense, it will soon be time for him to take the next step in his development.
In other Trubisky news … Remember when fumbled exchanges under center were a training camp bug-a-boo? That issue hasn’t popped up yet, and that could lead to some success throwing down the field sooner or later. Follow me for a moment.
Handling snaps and hand-offs seem minor, but Trubisky mastering this minor detail serves a bigger purpose. Jordan Howard piled up 167 rushing yards against the Ravens yesterday, and his continued success could open up an effective play action passing game.
The combination of the Bears’ commitment to running the ball and Trubisky’s ability to sell hand-offs on play action calls should create some throwing lanes and big plays down the field. And with Bears receivers unable to create separation, any kind of decoy can be helpful.
Trubisky’s numbers were always going to be limited, because the Bears’ game plan leaned heavily on their running backs (Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 50 carries). But that’s exactly what that Bears’ brass should have wanted out of this particular game. Rely on the run and don’t allow a rookie to make the kind of mistakes that get teams beat. The Bears did the former with their game planning, while Trubisky did the latter with his execution. All things considered then, it wasn’t a bad start.