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The truth is that Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is mediocre, but he does it spectacularly. If your front lawn looks like a Winged Foot putting green and your back lawn like a forest of 10-foot weeds, then on average, it’s Mitch Trubisky.
What I know for sure is that Trubisky is 2-0. Deshaun Watson is not. Tom Brady is not. Bill Belichick is not. In fact, Watson and Brady combined have half as many wins as Trubisky.
Is this one of those moments when a young quarterback is developing and emerging? It feels more like you’re briefly ahead in a game that you’re going to lose badly, so you call timeout to take a picture of the scoreboard.
Otherwise, you’ll never believe your eyes. Trubisky was Good Mitch, Bad Mitch again Sunday — to steal the label on former Bears QB Good Rex/Bad Rex Grossman — as the Bears beat the New York Giants 17-13. Remember: the Bears defense once took Good Rex/Bad Rex along on the ride to the Super Bowl.
So far, Trubisky beat the Detroit Lions, who now have blown four consecutive games with double-digit leads. The Lions can’t stop the pass and were actually out of defensive backs against the Bears because of injuries, and yet they still stopped Trubisky for three quarters. He was terrible. Then he was Good Mitch, threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns, and the Bears won when the Lions dropped a game-winning touchdown pass at the end.
This Sunday, the lowly Giants allowed Trubisky to do whatever he wanted for one half. The Bears led 17-0. And then New York running back Saquon Barkley blew out his knee early in the third quarter. It should’ve been a blowout from there. But Bad Mitch brought the Giants back, and they only lost when their final drive ended with a pass knocked down at the goal line.
So the Bears are 2-0 against two teams that are now 0-2. And next week, they play Atlanta, which is 0-2.
This is life in the middle lane for Bears fans, or actually swerving from right lane to left. The defense was supposed to be great and the offense tolerable enough for the defense to win games. Instead, even the defense has been mediocre. Linebacker Danny Trevathan is suddenly running like an old man, and Khalil Mack isn’t dominating.
Trubisky is the wrong quarterback. You don’t want a tremendously mediocre quarterback. It’s much better to have a boringly mediocre one, like Nick Foles, who is on the bench. You know what you’d get with Foles.
Trubisky is like a bowl of soup you just heated in the microwave, and one bite burns your tongue and the next is cold. Foles is lukewarm throughout, and the reason that’s better is because you can make plans.
In Chicago, the media keep saying that Trubisky just needs to develop some consistency. But he’s already consistent in his inconsistency. As Bears writer Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times noted, Trubisky’s passer rating in his four best quarters is 138.6 (5 TDs and no interceptions), and in his four worst quarters it’s 30.0 (no TDs and 2 INTs).
But the Bears are going with Trubisky because Ryan Pace has generally managed the team for far too long and has attached his tenure to Trubisky, who he traded up for to take over Patrick Mahomes and Watson in the draft.
There’s no living that down for Trubisky or for Pace. And coach Matt Nagy unsuspectingly had his career attached to Trubisky for him.
That means Nagy is going to have to figure this out. Trubisky was at his best against Detroit when the Bears were hurrying every play. Trubisky didn’t have time to think. When he was doing well against the Giants, the tempo was good, too. He would drop back while staring at the receiver he was going to throw to, plant his feet while staring, step while staring and then throw to the person he was staring at.
A little advice for Nagy: There’s really no need to call plays in the huddle. Trubisky gives it away before he finishes his drop anyway.
He did look calm in the first half, and the defense was good. That was exactly how the Bears are going to have to be. The Bears should watch film of that first half over and over and over and see if they get it in their heads that that’s their identity.
Trubisky threw two touchdowns and no interceptions in the first half Sunday and reversed those numbers in the second half. That’s his usual.
At this point, I guess there’s no rush to bench him, though I wonder if Nagy would even be allowed to. The Bears are 2-0 and tied for first place with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
For now, they might as well just smile and say “Cheese.’’