Mike Glennon’s first halves probably should’ve provided a platform for a quarterback controversy entering Week 3, but head coach John Fox is stubbornly re-committed to his starting quarterback.
Mitch Trubisky is hyped as the next big thing – which comes with the territory of being the second overall pick and first QB taken in a draft – and also the great unknown. It’s all part of his allure and the general reason why a backup quarterback is usually the most popular player in town. No one knows how Trubisky would have reacted if he was under center yesterday, and no one knows what will happen if (when?) he gets inserted into the lineup at some point later this season.
But after eight quarters of sub-par play from the starter, who was expected to provide a working bridge to the future, fans aren’t clamoring for the new guy simply because they are in search of a breath of fresh air. They’re also looking at the idea of replacing a quarterback who hasn’t done much to keep his team in games in the first half.
To be clear, the Bears’ 0-2 start doesn’t fall entirely on Glennon’s shoulders. His head coach made that clear when assessing the damage after the team’s 29-7 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. But at some point, Glennon will have to work past his slow starts or risk watching his team continue to fall behind early and often.
And as a matter of fact, calling him a slow starter might be an understatement. Divide his attempts in Games 1 and 2 into 10-throw intervals, and, this is what you get.
- The first 10 (from both games) come with a 75 percent completion rate (15/20), but have resulted in just 121 yards (6.1 yards per attempt) and a not-so-nice 69.0 rating.
- The second 10 (again, from both games so far) have been completed 65 percent of the time, but to the tune of a 60.4 rating.
Add it all up and Glennon is 28 fof 40 for 241 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 64.7 rating in his first 20 attempted throws.
- Things turn around in the third 10 though (15/20, 125 yards, 107.3 rating), but it’s really not enough to outweigh what have been two woeful first halves for the Bears’ quarterback.
Overall in the first half, Glennon owns a 59.5 rating, an average of 6.3 yards per attempt, has moved the chains for a first down through the air just eight times, has no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a lost fumble. It all makes that 80 percent completion rate look empty.
And it’s not as if he’s making the adjustments after halftime.
The Bears have deferred to the second half twice, giving Glennon and the offense the ball coming out of the locker room. Through two third quarters, Glennon is 3 of 8 (37.5%) for 28 yards and a 47.9 rating. Add up Glennon’s first three quarters in the first two games and the totals are nothing short of ugly: 23/33, 185 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 58.3 quarterback rating. These are the kinds of numbers that – over the course of a full 16-game season – get quarterbacks benched, play callers demoted, and head coaches fired.
Of course, Fox could easily fall back on Glennon’s sparkling fourth quarter numbers for a little support. Glennon deserves credit for performing with the game on the line in Week 1, but his late-game numbers shouldn’t be met with a furious round of applause after Week 2. At face value, you’d gladly take Glennon’s fourth quarter stats: 34/52, 329 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a 95.8 rating. HOWEVER, you would also have to remember that Glennon has gone 9/12 for 96 yards with a touchdown and a 125.1 rating when throwing while trailing by two scores.
That’s a lot of big numbers for a part of the game without much on the line.
Overall, this is what Glennon’s stat line looks like:
- 67.1 completion percentage
- 2 TD (2.4 TD%)
- 2 INT (2.4 INT%)
- 257 yards per game
- 81.2 rating (22nd)
Glennon should be playing inspired ball with a chip on his shoulder and a top draft pick behind him, but he isn’t. Instead, he’s getting off to bad starts and only dialing it up when the Bears are down big and late (i.e. when there’s less to lose).
It might not cost him his job now (and, hey, he’s already banked $18 million in guarantees). But if this keeps up, there will be legitimate football reasons for the Bears to call on Trubisky and kickstart their new era sooner rather than later.