Back-to-back encouraging performances from Mitch Trubisky has the Chicago Bears’ rookie quarterback’s stock on the rise.
Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar ranked 30 quarterbacks heading into Week 12, and not only did Trubisky land in the top half, he just missed out sliding into the top 10. Trubisky checks in as Farrar’s No. 12 quarterback entering Week 12, that’s up six spots from last week.
Farrar came away impressed with Trubisky’s outing against the Lions despite an unimpressive stat line, noting the rookie showed an ability to remain poised under pressure. We still can’t get enough of that gutsy first-down run, but Trubisky made a two clutch throws on the game’s final drive that shouldn’t be overlooked. Trubisky connected with Tre McBride III to convert a 3rd-and-5 situation, then hit Dontrelle Inman deep to help put the Bears in a position to tie the game with a field goal.
There is no doubt Trubisky is showing signs of growth with each passing week. And there’s no reason to believe his development won’t continue as he continues to get an increased workload in Dowell Loggains’ offense. We’ll see if the arrow is still pointing up after the conclusion of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Alshon Jeffery’s revenge game might be the headliner, but it’s fellow wide receiver Mack Hollins talking that talk prior to Sunday’s game against the Bears. “There’s a reason why he went No. 2 and a reason he’s become the starting quarterback there,” said Hollins of Trubisky, per Ed Kracz. “But my defense in my mind is the best in the league and he’s going to be in trouble.
- You see, Hollins and Trubisky were teammates at North Carolina, so while Hollins might still think highly of Trubisky’s future down the line, his immediate future looks to be entering some rough waters. How Trubisky handles a hostile road environment and an equally rough defense could tell us something about what the No. 2 overall pick has in store for the rest of this season.
- Good luck dealing with that Philadelphia blitz, which has limited opposing passers to a 48.3 rating. Paul Domowitch also notes opposing quarterbacks own a 12.1 rating with three interceptions when the Eagles blitz on third down. Trubisky has an 87.9 rating on third down and 113.7 rating on third-and-longer-than7. He has yet to throw an interception on third down, which is encouraging news. HOWEVER, Trubisky has been sacked on 16.7 percent of third-down drop-backs. Yikes.
- Philadelphia entered Week 12 with the NFL’s best running defense, so we shouldn’t overlook the looming threat this defense possesses. Andrew Kulp explains how the Bears’ rushing attack with Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and a mobile Trubisky can provide the Eagles with one of their most unique challenges of the year. Philadelphia’s ability to stuff the run has turned most opponents into one-dimensional offenses. The Eagles defense has seen the second most pass attempts and have limited quarterbacks to a 76.9 rating. So while we’d like to see Trubisky air it out, it would probably be counterproductive for his development if he’s in a situation where the offense becomes that predictable.
- OK, so maybe Hollins is onto something here:
Week 11's top CB performances pic.twitter.com/dJlVC5zgOC
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 24, 2017
- The Bears – who will have a new starter at receiver because Josh Bellamy (concussion) did not travel with the team – could counter that elite pass defense by having Trubisky turn around and hand off to Howard early and often, especially when running from under center:
Most productive Running Backs when UNDER CENTER this season!#DaBears #GoSaints #LARams #Jaguars #DallasCowboys #GoBills #GoNiners #HereWeGo #FlyEaglesFly #ChiefsKingdom #InBrotherhood pic.twitter.com/hdn3LUuPSg
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 24, 2017
- A couple of notes from around the league before we dive into Sunday’s slate…
- The combination of Philadelphia’s high-octane offense, stout defense, and Chicago’s recent woes on both sides of the ball has the Bears as one of four teams entering Sunday as double-digit underdogs. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has the rundown of the week’s biggest spreads. For what it’s worth, all three favorites covered on Thanksgiving.
- The Denver Broncos were a busy bunch this week. The team made a change at offensive coordinator by firing Mike McCoy and followed that up with news that Paxton Lynch will start at quarterback. Lynch was a first-round pick in 2016 whose career has yet to take off. Lynch has served as a backup for Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian. Moving forward, it appears as if Siemian will serve as QB2 as the team searches for stability and production at the position for the first time since Peyton Manning retired.
- In other NFL quarterback news pertaining Sunday’s action, the Buffalo Bills have moved on from the short-lived Nathan Peterman experiment. Tyrod Taylor returns to the starting lineup after Peterman threw five interceptions and posted a woeful 17.9 rating in his debut against the Los Angeles Chargers. Taylor will be playing to keep the Bills alive in the playoff hunt, but also for his future in Buffalo. Remember, he signed a re-structured deal back in March.
- Chip Kelly is back where he probably belongs. UCLA announced it has hired Kelly as the team’s new head coach, giving him a five-year contract. Kelly returns to the familiar stomping grounds of the Pac-12, where he won three conference titles while at Oregon. Kelly’s NFL career didn’t go as planned after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a division title in 2013. He was fired in 2015, linked up with the San Francisco 49ers within a month of his firing, but was ultimately fired after leading that team to a 2-14 record.
- While success has eluded him in recent years, cash has not:
Chip Kelly has signed 20 yrs & $100,500,000 dollars worth of contracts…IN THE PAST 7 years!!
— Chris Law (@ChrisLaw) November 25, 2017