Mitch Trubisky has spent a shortened week preparing for his first road start, and he’ll need all the help he can get because Bears rookie quarterbacks starting on the road generally don’t fare well.
Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times highlights the challenges rookies face in their first road start.
Everything from how Trubisky handles crowd noise, his first silent count snap from the shotgun, to how he gets in and out of the huddle will be under a microscope once the game starts in Baltimore. Rookie quarterbacks don’t tend to do well on the road, and Bears rookie signal callers are no exception.
On average, Finley notes Bears rookie quarterbacks have gone 10 of 22 for 108 yards with a 72.1 passer rating. None have come with the hype, potential, talent, or upside Trubisky possesses, so perhaps we could be in for a pleasant surprise.
The pieces around Trubisky need to clean up their respective acts if the Bears are going to come together and pull off a road upset. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes the Bears are making too many mistakes for a rookie quarterback – even one as talented as Trubisky – to overcome. Penalties, drops, and blown defensive assignments have all been problems that have been costly to a team which has had three of its five games decided by one score.
Ideally, the Bears defense steps up and forces the Ravens offense into some mistakes. John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago writes the Bears defense is still in search of an identity. Of course, one way for Vic Fangio’s unit to find itself is to create turnovers – of which they have just three in five games. Joe Flacco was prone to throwing interceptions earlier in the year and could give the Bears ample opportunity to haul in their first pick since the end of the 2016 season.
Pernell McPhee projects to be a bigger part of the Bears defense with Willie Young on injured reserve because of a triceps injury. McPhee’s knee injuries have kept him from living up to the potential he flashed in Baltimore, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune explains how the Ravens’ developmental system has replaced McPhee without missing a beat. For what it’s worth, the Ravens are a good organizational model to follow if you’re looking for a prototype on how to build a well-round team.
Development hasn’t been something the Bears have done well in recent years, hence a record with more losses than wins since Lovie Smith was fired at the end of the 2012 season. One place the Bears can desperately use some growth is at receiver, where JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes the team is in search for a diamond in the rough. Tre McBride was snagged off the waiver wire after teams trimmed their rosters to 53 and played in 70 percent of the team’s snaps against the Vikings on Monday Night Football. His up-tick in playing time allowed the Bears to part ways with Deonte Thompson, who saw his time on the field slashed drastically. Maybe fan favorite and training camp standout Tanner Gentry can be one too. As it stands, none of the Bears’ current receivers were drafted by the team, so any help at the position would be welcome.