With criticisms flying left and right, I couldn’t help but wonder how Mitch Trubisky would handle the noise at Soldier Field entering last week’s game against the Detroit Lions. As it turns out, he can handle all sorts of pressure thrown his way.
When faced with the challenge of picking up the Bears’ first win against a division opponent in more than 700 days, Trubisky did it by completing 23 of 30 passes for 355 yards and four total touchdowns. It was a pretty historic day by Bears quarterbacking standards. But it was also an important day for Trubisky, who appears to have taken the next step in his development by successfully handling on-field pressure.
If you were hoping Trubisky would show some signs of improved deep ball accuracy and an ability to handle pressure coming in his direction, then Sunday was the game for you.
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsley highlights the offensive show-stoppers of the week and points out Trubisky was perfect under pressure. That’s not hyperbole, either. Trubisky posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating when pressured by the Lions and showed proficiency throwing the deep ball while doing so. Trubisky completed 4 of 8 deep passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. And while connecting on 50 percent of your deep throws doesn’t seem like a highly successful rate, know that Aaron Rodgers completed 44.8 percent of his deep pass attempts in 2017-18. For more on deep throws and accuracy, I found this post from Football Outsiders to be informative.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Trubisky when teams bring the heat, but the last two weeks have provided encouraging signs. And while his success against the Bills came in a small sample of snaps, Trubisky’s excellence against the Lions showed he could do it when given an expanded role.
Up next for Trubisky, the challenge of doing it against a Minnesota Vikings defense while at home under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football.