A bizarre game in the desert allows the Chicago Bears to be atop the NFC North for the first time since Week 16 of the 2013 season.
After giving up two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, the Cardinals were held scoreless the rest of the game due in large part to four turnovers caused by the Bears’ defense.
Despite dominating time of possession by nearly 13 minutes, gaining 95 more yards than the Cardinals and causing four takeaways, the Bears limped away with a 16-14 victory against two quarterbacks that had a 23.9 (Sam Bradford) and 69.1 (Josh Rosen) quarterback rating.
Looking back on it, it’s alarming how close this game was.
If you are looking for reasons as to why the Bears struggled … look no further than quarterback.
It’s important to remember how inexperienced Mitch Trubisky is in this system and that he’s dealing with new players and coaches; he should improve but he simply hasn’t yet.
Just like leading the division after the third week of the season, nothing is remotely set in stone when it comes to how players or teams are performing at this stage.
Trubisky has great potential and has all the tools to become a great quarterback and he shows it even in his worst games.
The issue is that’s the only thing that it can be called. Potential.
- He has good arm strength but he’ll overthrow even the fastest receiver on a deep route.
- He has elite athletic ability and can scramble out of the pocket; he’ll also run backward ten yards and end up getting sacked.
- He can thread the needle across the middle but he’ll also throw it directly to a defender on the next play.
All these flaws are fixable, but with a team that suddenly has this much talent and an elite defense, they need to be reversed as soon as possible.
Small steps will go a long way with Trubisky, such as his footwork. He went on record after Week 1 saying he needs to be able to throw with his feet firmly planted on the field, but there haven’t been any noticeable improvements in that department.
Another alarming trait he has is his tendency to telegraph his passes and his inability to look past his first option on a play. Within the first three seconds of any given down, it’s obvious where the ball is going, if the receiver will be open and if the play is going to be a disaster or a success.
The potential he has is what made him the second overall draft pick in 2017. He has the ability to live up to that hype but he’s far away from becoming who we all want him to be. This defense is going to keep the team in almost every game, but you can’t count on four turnovers each weekend.
If this team wants to have a real chance at winning this division, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of Trubisky.
He doesn’t need to be a truly elite quarterback, in fact, Matt Nagy simply wants him to “Be You”.
We know this defense is elite. Jordan Howard is developing as a well-balanced running back, Tarik Cohen is shifty and electric as ever and this receiving core is noticeably better than in previous years, but the biggest question mark is at quarterback. We don’t know who Trubisky is at this time and he needs to improve moving forward.
Regardless, being in first place is always nice, so let’s enjoy this while it lasts and see what develops from this team offensively.