In case you missed it, the Chicago Bears are going to have a full-blown quarterback competition this summer.
Leading up to Week 1, much will be written, said, and analyzed about the great QB competition of 2020. And I’ll do my best to put together a recurring post rounding up the best stuff. And with that out of the way, let’s dive in.
• Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) recently shared his projected starters for NFC North teams, and in doing so, named Foles as QB1 for Week 1. Rosenthal doesn’t think a condensed offseason will be much of a hurdle for Foles, as he makes his way toward the starting job, adding “Foles has played at a higher level than Trubisky has ever displayed.” Ouch, Gregg. Fair. But ouch.
• Caesar’s Palace oddsmakers seem to hint that Foles has a leg up in the competition – at least, based on some of the early odds that are out there. According to Caesar’s Palace, Foles’ odds of being the NFL’s 2020 passing yards leader sit at +6,000, while Trubisky’s is at +30,000. That might mean nothing to some, but let’s translate gambling terms to football speak. Foles’ odds are in line with fellow starters Lamar Jackson and Garnder Minshew. Meanwhile, Trubisky’s odds are in the realm of Washington’s backup Kyle Allen. In other words, the oddsmakers have more faith in Foles winning the gig than Trubisky. Predicting a starter at this stage of the offseason feels like a fool’s errand, but that won’t keep me from wondering if oddsmakers in Las Vegas have an inkling as to what is going to happen in the future.
• Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus took his shot at predicting starting lineups for 2020, and like the others, he anoints Nick Foles as the projected starter when this season begins: “The Bears have indicated that this will be a legitimate competition between Foles and Trubisky, but it’s hard to imagine Foles isn’t the starter in 2020,” Linsey writes. “He’s simply the better quarterback.” Linsey sees Foles’ ceiling, which has been on display a few times during his career, as giving the Bears a better chance to get back into the playoff mix.
• Over at Bleacher Report, Maurice Moton takes a stab at predicting each NFL quarterback’s stat lines for the 2020 season. But when it comes to the Bears, it gets tricky. Moton predicts Trubisky as the starter, but shares predictions for Foles and Trubisky as if either were to win the starting gig. That’s fair, I suppose.
TRUBISKY: 298/468 (63.7%), 3,078 yards, 19 TD (4.1 TD%), 13 INT 2.8 INT%); 55 carries, 363 rushing yards
FOLES: 280/459 (61.0%), 3,009 yards, 17 TD (3.7%), 8 INT (1.7 INT%); 10 carries, 32 yards
• Well, then … neither of these options is all that appetizing. Trubisky throws for more yards, completes a higher percentage of passes, throws touchdowns at a better percentage, and adds more in the rushing department. But Foles turns it over at a lower rate. Overall, it’s disappointing no matter how it’s sliced.
• Tarik Cohen checks in with his thoughts about the looming competition:
• Cohen drops some politically correct answers here, which is to be expected. Diplomacy is key when trying to keep the peace in the huddle and locker room. “I just look at it as something that Coach Nagy always tells us, ‘competition breeds success.’ You know we can’t have two quarterbacks on the field at the same time, so it’s going to be one person and somebody’s going to be that guy. And whoever that is, they’re going to step up to the plate and have all the guys behind him.”
• I don’t expect Cohen (or any Bears offensive player) to play favorites in this race. But Cohen and Trubisky have a bond that dates back to being members of the 2017 draft class. And with that in mind, I found it interesting when Cohen said: “I feel like, once he gets that confidence about himself, and once he gets out of his own head, and he has that ‘F-it’ mentality, I feel that’s when we see the best of him.” I mean, if anyone knows what it looks like when Trubisky is going well, it’s someone like Cohen who grew up with Trubisky as part of that draft class of 2017. Cohen added that he sees “it” in Trubisky. So while Foles has an impressive résumé and an intimate knowledge of the offense, let’s not sleep on Trubisky — especially if this competition is the fair fight Nagy paints it as being.