Mitch Trubisky has already started to re-write the Chicago Bears’ record books.
After tossing another 193 yards in Sunday’s win against the Browns, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft stands alone at the top of the Bears’ all-time rookie record rankings for passing yards. Dude. Nice.
And, of course, Trubisky deflected the praise to his teammates:
🔟 on setting #DaBears new rookie record for passing yards.
Stay humble, kid. pic.twitter.com/FMmilK02M4
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 26, 2017
He’s turning into quite the leader, eh?
Trubisky’s 2,015 yards in 2017 put him ahead of Kyle Orton, who had a nice rookie season in 2005, featuring 1,869 yards and a 10-5 record as a starter for a playoff team. Obviously, the Trubisky-led Bears aren’t headed to the postseason like Orton and the 2005 Bears were, but it’s still encouraging to see the rookie use Week 16 to bounce back from a rough game against the Lions and set a new standard for first-years in Chicago.
Indeed, one week after throwing three interceptions, Trubisky played turnover-free ball to lock down a win against the Browns – though I suppose luck played a tiny role, as Trubisky’s one mistake (a pick-six thrown to defensive end Myles Garrett) was negated by an offsides penalty.
In any case, Trubisky showed poise in the pocket and used his athleticism to move the chains and keep drives alive. In fact, that turned out to be the X-factor for an offense whose leading receiver (running back Benny Cunningham) gained 62 yards on two well-timed and well-executed screen passes while Jordan Howard ran for just 44 yards on 22 carries against a stout Cleveland rush defense.
To be clear, and with all love to Trubisky, Bears passing records don’t hold much value league-wide – rookie or otherwise. In fact, these numbers say a lot about how football has evolved into a pass-first game, how the Bears have failed to adapt with the times, and how inept the organization has been at scouting, drafting, and developing young quarterbacks (hopefully, until now).
But still, with a little more luck, Trubisky’s skills and athleticism could give him an inside track to re-writing many more of the Bears’ quarterback records and perhaps something more.
As of today, the Bears, 5-10, are clinging to a top-10 draft pick entering the season’s final week, but playoff contender or not, this season was always more about Trubisky’s development than anything else. That he’s gotten this far – as we rapidly approach the finish line – shows how much he’s grown in his first season.
Now, let’s see if he can close the season by stacking back-to-back solid efforts and giving us something more to dream on before next year.