For the first time since 2013, the Chicago Bears will end October with a record that has more wins than losses. And they did it in style:
Mitch Trubisky threw for 220 yards, added 51 more on the ground, tacked on a pair of touchdowns, and most importantly, secured a 24-10 win against the New York Jets.
For the Bears, it’s win No. 4. Let’s put it in perspective: the Bears didn’t pick up their fourth win until Week 15 of last season and are only two years removed from winning just three games altogether. Chicago’s football team is starting to move in the right direction after back-to-back losses put some doubt in what this club’s immediate (and long-term) future was going to look like.
To be clear, this one wasn’t pretty. The Bears and Jets slogged to a lackluster first half where both teams struggled to find an identity and neither had rhythm when they had the football. You figured Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was going to have his issues going up against the Bears’ defense, but Trubisky struggled mightily in the first half. Sure, Trubisky mustered up a 97.0 passer rating in the first half … but he completed just 5 of 13 passes (38.5% completion rate) and 70 of the 116 yards he threw for came on Tarik Cohen’s screen pass. It was as bad as Trubisky has played all year, but an important development occurred after halftime – he made adjustments and bounced back.
Trubisky finished strong with the following second-half line: 11 of 16 (68.8%), 105 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. That adds up to a 107.6 passer rating in the second half, which is pretty darn good. See what happens when you don’t turn the ball over?
The Bears’ quarterback isn’t developing at the rate of Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting better with each week. In fact, it’s getting more difficult to ignore Trubisky’s process because it’s visible in the decision-making and execution. Then again, it wouldn’t be accurate to say he’s all the way there because he clearly isn’t.
Watching Trubisky can be incredibly frustrating. Every throw that is off the mark feels like a major missed opportunity and it causes me to yell at my television set, as one does when such misfired throws occur. It looks ugly when things go south for Trubisky, but he has shown he can make corrections from week-to-week this season. That’s encouraging. And based on how he threw in the second half, he just displayed an ability to make in-game adjustments. That’s even more encouraging if you give it that type of perspective.
It all feels like Trubisky is taking a step in the right direction, but he’ll need to do it more consistently before he gets the full benefit of the doubt.