Before this season, the only need as glaring as the Bears’ utter lack of a franchise-leading capable quarterback, was the utter lack of receivers who could catch that fictional quarterback’s passes. So in what might be a development as crucial to the Bears long-term success as Mitch Trubisky’s growth as a second-year starter, I’m happy to acknowledge just how awesome the Bears wide receivers have been in 2018.
I mean, check this OUT!
Mitchell Trubisky is tied for the lowest percentage of passes dropped by his receivers so far this season. pic.twitter.com/6BNAB8JuKM
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 12, 2018
Pro Football Focus notes that Trubisky’s pass-catchers are tied in having the lowest drop percentage in the entire league. Not only is this number important, there are plenty of people responsible for it to come to fruition.
Obviously, the wide receivers deserve the most credit. The likes of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Trey Burton, and others are deserving of fist-bumps for their efforts to make Trubisky’s life that much easier when he’s slinging the pigskin around the field. Because, let’s face it: a quarterback is going to be more confident throwing to receivers he feels are reliable and can catch the ball. No big secret there. And of course, Trubisky deserves a ton of credit for picking the right time to throw to the right receivers and making the right throws when he does decide to pull the trigger.
But while the players deserve all the credit in the world for throwing and catching passes before turning them into big plays, at some point we have to tip our cap to GM Ryan Pace.
After struggling to piece together a viable receiving corps for the likes of Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, and whomever else was asked to go under center, Pace put together the group that stands before us that has the lowest drop percentage in football. Obviously, that’s huge for the Bears current success (these guys are helping the first-place Bears win games right now), but also for the future. Although there are many other reasons as well, there’s no doubt that Trubisky’s development has taken huge steps forward this season *precisely because* of the receivers he’s been given.
There were plenty of skeptics when the Bears brought in Robinson, Gabriel, and Burton in free agency, then tacked on the addition of Miller via the draft. But so far, Pace’s plan has worked and the trickle-down effect is real. The Bears’ pass-catchers are better, so Trubisky is better. With Trubisky having improved, now the whole offense is better. And now that the offense has shown signs of life, the defense is even better than it was last year because it’s not gassed or on the field all the time.
There are so many things you can point to when discussing the Bears’ revival. But I can’t help but highlight how much the simple addition of capable pass-catchers to the offense has helped everything else get better in a way we would not have previously expected.