If a ceasefire EVER comes in the battle between Pro Football Focus and #BearsTwitter, everyone in the the trenches will back at one post as the turning point.
Here it is:
"Mitchell Trubisky is playing better than Aaron Rodgers in recent weeks." pic.twitter.com/RsYi5ttjfZ
— PFF (@PFF) December 13, 2019
“Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers…”
“…which features a top-5 quarterback over the last three weeks against Aaron Rodgers.”
“Yeah, Mitchell Trubisky is playing better than Aaron Rodgers in recent weeks.”
You hear that, gang? The folks at PFF say Trubisky has been playing like a top-5 quarterback in recent weeks!
This isn’t just lip service to get Bears fans from blowing up their Twitter mentions, either. Trubisky has a 78.8 passing grade since Week 12, which is the fifth best on the site’s grading scale in those weeks. And if Trubisky was to keep up those numbers over a whole season, he would rank as the 12th-highest-graded player at the position. This is the best extended stretch of play by PFF’s standards since Trubisky’s run of competence between Weeks 10-17 last season, a period in which his play presented a glimmer of hope that Trubisky had turned a corner and that his woeful overall grades in 2018 would be in the rear-view mirror. Or, at a minimum, proved that Trubisky could play winning football for an extended period for a team in its window of contention.
And that brings us to the crux of our big-picture issue when it comes to Trubisky. Are we seeing his ceiling? His floor? Is this type of run something we can get used to seeing? Or is it just a mirage? Will this be a data point we look at as the start of an upward trend in the right direction? Or is this only a blip on the radar? Will I answer questions? Or keep tiptoeing around an impossibly tough discussion?
Piecing together a top-5 grade against non-contenders such as the Giants and Lions, as well as a Cowboys defense that was good by traditional metrics (8th in total defense, 8th in passing defense) but not highly regarded by the metrics (a ranking in the 20’s by Football Outsiders’ DVOA numbers) is what should be expected of Trubisky. But shouldn’t that be the norm at this point in his career, rather than just a flash or brilliance? Yes. The answer is yes.
I recently asked what to make of Trubisky’s recent run. And frankly, I can’t escape the thought that simply asking these questions in Year 3 of a quarterback’s career is telling — and for all the wrong reasons. And yet, I have been open about pushing the idea of letting these final games play out before we head into the offseason leaning too strongly one way or another about the long-term future of the position.