By one metric, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been surprisingly effective when throwing under pressure:
— ✶ ✶Tony Gianares✶ ✶ (@Certified_TonyG) September 20, 2018
Trubisky’s 96.5 passer rating when under pressure isn’t just good, it’s the fifth best in football through two weeks and among some pretty good company. Any time you’re on a list with Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger, it’s probably a good thing.
This rating suggests the second-year quarterback is improving in an area where he needs it. Pro Football Focus had Trubisky’s passer rating against pressure at 48.7 in 2017, which ranked 34th among the 41 quarterbacks who qualified. The Bears’ offensive line hasn’t given up too many pressures early in 2018, but it’s good that Trubisky has a quality passer rating number on the occasions when he is hassled when trying to throw. Trubisky will need to be good again in this area if the Bears are going to escape from Arizona with a win.
The Cardinals have brought their fair share of pressure in the past. Arizona sent five or more pass-rushers on 32.4 percent of the defensive snaps in 2017, which was the ninth highest percentage in 2017 according to Football Outsiders. The team was particularly aggressive with their defensive backs, sending secondary members on a blitz on 13 percent of the team’s defensive plays, which was the sixth highest percentage last year.
While the Cardinals have a defensive-minded first-year Head Coach (Steve Wilks) and new Defensive Coordinator (Al Holcomb), there are plenty of returning players who could be effective if used aggressively. It’s something the Bears and Trubisky need to note entering this Week 3 matchup.