Mitch Trubisky and offseason roommate Jared Goff stunk up the joint in front of a nationally televised audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It was a game of anything you can do, I can do worse … and I’m not sure who won (or lost, or whatever).
The two quarterbacks combined to complete 36 of 74 passes for 290 yards, a touchdown, and 7 interceptions. The math adds up to a 48.6 completion percentage, 9.5 interception percentage, and 24.0 passer rating. Yuck. Those are the types of numbers that get quarterbacks benched and sent away.
But let’s focus on Trubisky, because it’s his development over the final few weeks and into January that could be the difference between an early exit or an unexpected Super Bowl run.
Trubisky was 16 of 30 for 110 yards, three interceptions, and a single-game career-worst 33.3 passer rating. It doesn’t get much worse than this, folks. Two of Trubisky’s three interceptions were overthrows and the third was a poorly under-thrown pass on a play before halftime. I suppose if you desperately want to find a silver lining, you could say that the air-mailed throws show that his injured shoulder is strong enough to air it out. Though, I’m not sure then how you would justify the under-thrown pick. And I guess if you’re really grasping for straws, you could suggest that two of Trubisky’s throws were good decisions, because at least he was throwing to open receivers.
Perhaps that’s one of two key takeaways from Sunday’s poor outing. It’s not as if Trubisky was being reckless or careless with the football. Instead, his issues were poorly thrown passes. This is where you hope that it’s rust (or even weather-related, given Goff’s struggles) and not a lingering problem with the recently healed injured throwing shoulder. Because a player can work through rust. And if the Bears can lock up a playoff berth sooner rather than later, then Trubisky can work through any issues in low-leverage season-ending situations without fear that any one mistake could cost his team playoff positioning or even a spot in the postseason.
The other important takeaway is that Trubisky said he feels healthy.
“It sucked being out for two weeks,” Trubisky said in his postgame press conference. “I mean, the shoulder wasn’t bothering me at all. Not my mindset or anything like that.”
Trubisky also promised to get things corrected and return to the player he was prior to Week 14, when he entered the game with a 97.7 passer rating and was playing at a 16-game pace where he was on track to throw for more than 3,900 yards with 32 touchdowns. Because while we want Trubisky to make Bears history, this isn’t how we wanted it to go down:
Mitch Trubisky joins this illustrious group of Bears QBs who have thrown 3+ INTs in a win (since 1970) pic.twitter.com/xmZz98Ece4
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 10, 2018
LOL. And the experts say the NFL is a pass-friendly league. It sure didn’t look like it on Sunday night.
This is a tale Bears fans are used to by now. A dominating defense that carries the load while it hopes the defense does enough to scrape together a few scoring drives to deliver the victory. And while it’s a formula that has worked in the past, let’s not make this a trend moving forward.