I’ll allow for the possibility that Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox sees some things we don’t necessarily see when it comes to assessing a player’s performance. After all, he is privy to information we don’t have and has the perspective of a long-time NFL coach.
… But still. It’s a bit of a head-turner when he says Mitch Trubisky arguably played his best game of the year in Saturday’s loss to the Detroit Lions.
Seriously. He said that:
#Bears coach John Fox on QB Mitchell Trubisky's performance against Lions after video review: "As far as his growth and his maturation, I though probably his best game."
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) December 18, 2017
Bears HC John Fox says QB Mitch Trubisky played "arguably his best game" against the Lions despite his 3 INTs. He cites some pre-snap corrections of teammates & certain throws.
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) December 18, 2017
John Fox was pleased with Mitch Trubisky’s performance in Detroit. Said there’s more than just the box score, highlighting how Trubisky corrected players who were in the wrong spot or threw away a screen pass when the Lions had it covered.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 18, 2017
If I didn’t know any better, it sounds like the ol’ ball coach is warming up to his rookie quarterback. So to be fair to Fox, let’s focus on some positives we can draw from Trubisky’s performance.
- He set a career high in passing yards (314) and completed a respectable 67 percent of his passes against the Lions. That was the first 300-yard passing game allowed by Detroit since Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- He also engineered three drives of 10+ plays in the second half, as Chicago tried to mount a comeback, though two did end in interceptions. Obviously, drives that end with turnovers aren’t good, but getting this group into scoring position deserves some sort of recognition.
- That Trubisky is in a place to correct teammates and make pre-snap adjustments shows just how much he’s grown as a signal caller, while also proving that he has some command of the offense. Remember, these were noted concerns heading into Trubisky’s rookie season and were among the reasons Mike Glennon was handed the starting job in Week 1.
Trubisky threw a season-high 46 passes on Sunday, which gives us some wiggle room to assess his performance. In the act of fairness, I’m willing to adjust my expectations when taking into consideration the game situation of trailing by double digits while relying on a rookie quarterback with less-than-desirable targets. In this case, the Bears were forced to take the bad (three turnovers) with the good (which is mentioned above).
This isn’t to say Trubisky didn’t make rookie mistakes (he did) and that some of those mistakes shouldn’t be made at this stage of the season (they shouldn’t). But if this proves to be something Trubisky can learn from and be better because of it moving forward, then it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Saturday could have been a good performance in the grand scheme of things.