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The Shadow
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By Mike Renner

While no one likes to admit it, we all succumb to inherent bias in one way or another. As a draft evaluator like myself, it’s nearly impossible to shake anchoring bias, as our brain tends to give a first impression of a player far more weight than subsequent evidence.

When it comes to NFL general managers and the most valuable position on the football field, we see outcome bias cloud decision-making time and time again. When a team is winning, one is inclined to look far more favorably on all the decisions prior to then even if some were objectively bad.

That’s a roundabout way of introducing the conundrum that is Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. With an 18-8 record the past two seasons starting at the most valuable position on the football field, he must be good, right?

We’ve seen spikes like Mitchell Trubisky’s before

If you follow us at all at PFF, you know we disagree. Trubisky has been one of the lowest-graded quarterbacks in the NFL last year and this year. After an offseason of banging the table for him, Bears fans seemingly came around to our point of view.

But to quote Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” The Bears have rattled off three straight victories, with Trubisky earning a 99.1 passer rating over that span, and are suddenly back in the playoff hunt.

Any meaningful sample size still puts him as one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. This is the same story we’ve seen a handful of times over the past decade. How quickly we forget what happened to the Jaguars with their handling of top-five pick Blake Bortles. After four seasons of ups and downs, Bortles put together a stretch of play toward the end of 2017 that had many wondering if he’d turned the corner. In Weeks 13-15, Bortles averaged over 300 yards a game, threw seven touchdowns, tossed no interceptions, had 10 big-time throws, had no turnover-worthy plays and posted a PFF passing grade of 91.7. It was elite play by any objective measure.

After the season, Jacksonville handed him a three-year extension despite other free agents, such as Teddy Bridgewater and Kirk Cousins, being available on the open market. I don’t have to tell you how that’s turned out for the Jaguars.

This is Trubisky’s ‘high end’

The first thing to note is that statistically and grading-wise, Trubisky’s past three games pale in comparison to Bortles or even other quarterbacks who’ve gotten hot yet turned out to be fraudulent. Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Josh McCown (as Bears fans should be familiar with), and — the best corollary — Marcus Mariota have all had stretches of play far more impressive than Trubisky’s, yet each came crashing back down to earth afterward. The Titans never gave up on Mariota and petered out at 9-7 three straight years in the process.

The Bears' third-year quarterback may have beaten the Giants, Lions and Cowboys the past three weeks, but he still threw four picks in the process and had as many turnover-worthy plays (five) as big-time throws, per our charting. Unless you see sustained high-level play, and maybe more importantly, the elimination low-level play, the Bears must explore other options at the quarterback position this offseason. The fact that plays like the ones below haven’t gone away is massively concerning.

His 78.8 grade over that span is solid and would be great to see over an entire season, but that’s kind of the point. This is his high end. This is the best we’ve seen from him. That’s like seeing Drew Brees throw for 349 yards and five touchdowns this past week and saying, “Man, if he only did that every game.” That’s not how it works. And the quicker the Bears realize that with a roster built to win now, the better off they’ll be.

With quarterbacks such as Bridgewater, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill all potentially available for the Bears this offseason, they’d be succumbing to their own bias in a big way by pigeonholing themselves into Trubisky for 2020 without seeing a drastic improvement down the stretch and into the playoffs. At the most valuable position on the football field, that would be downright irresponsible.

*****

Just some counterpoint

Charles Leno, Jr. and Cody Whitehair are SOLID!

2021 is the year the Bears put it all together! (2020 is a scrub)

Go Bears!

 

me654
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nonsense. Especially the QBs he mentions available....just laughable. 

This also screams, desperate for negative news. it sells ;)

"Jay Cutler can throw a football and cut it through the elements as well as anyone out there. Arm talent immense, the upside you love it. The reason I'm critical is I wish I had it"-Trent Dilfer

Calbrooks
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I do not take anything that PFF says seriously anymore. They make up stats to fit the storyline they want to sell. I am pretty sure that they can be bought by agents wanting something to boost their players value as well.

Saying that, I am not suddenly all back on board with Mitch. I ended last season pretty high on the kid. Mainly because his play last year as his floor, so even if he did not significantl improve this year, I felt he was solid enough to win with. Then he came out and spent the first 8-10 weeks with a "hold my beer" approach that showed me his floor could be a lot lower! Three solid games does not change that.

In fact, even if he does well the next three games, hell, even if he manages to play a role in us sneaking into the playoffs, I wont be sold on him. Right now, regardless of how he finishes the year out I will be very dissapointed if Pace does not find a legitimate backup that has starter potential next year. Mitch needs to be pushed and if he struggle again the Bears need someone they can replace him with.

It is still Mitch's job to lose, I have no issues with him coming back as the presumed starter until proven he is not, but I do not trust him anymore. Hopefully Nagy and Pace manage to shore up some of the other major issues this offense has had this season so we can get a clearer image on just how Mitch can do going forward.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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I posted that article, not because it was negative, but because it was a good counterpoint to all the other articles out there. The Bears press is so finicky. They jump on and off that bandwagon at the drop of a hat. It just amazes me when they do these 180° flips in thnking. Are they all schizophrenic? I never fully believe anything they write anymore. Good or bad. It is all emotional based off the last game result. Press and fans alike, change their minds about the team based upon one play or game so often it is unreal. I was never really sold on Mitch for the reasons I have stated since he was drafted. He has potential. He has flaws. His ability to minimize his flaws and grow, has not been steady or consistant. Same with his over all play. As one announcer said this year during a game....Mitch will "Wow" you with a play and then make you say "Wtf" two minutes later. It is that inconsistancy that is holding him and the offense back. (Nagy is at fault here too) He is part of the problem, but not the entire problem. He does not get a free pass here and shouldn't get one either. He hasn't earned it.

He also has not earned a new deal yet either. Bears should not excercise his 5th year option either. Let him play out his 4th year and then negotiate. Do not do an Emry and extend him like they did with Cutler, based solely off potential and could be's.

Charles Leno, Jr. and Cody Whitehair are SOLID!

2021 is the year the Bears put it all together! (2020 is a scrub)

Go Bears!

 

The Shadow
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POST COUNT: 10478
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The Shadow wrote:

I posted that article, not because it was negative, but because it was a good counterpoint to all the other articles out there. The Bears press is so finicky. They jump on and off that bandwagon at the drop of a hat. It just amazes me when they do these 180° flips in thnking. Are they all schizophrenic? I never fully believe anything they write anymore. Good or bad. It is all emotional based off the last game result. Press and fans alike, change their minds about the team based upon one play or game so often it is unreal. I was never really sold on Mitch for the reasons I have stated since he was drafted. He has potential. He has flaws. His ability to minimize his flaws and grow, has not been steady or consistant. Same with his over all play. As one announcer said this year during a game....Mitch will "Wow" you with a play and then make you say "Wtf" two minutes later. It is that inconsistancy that is holding him and the offense back. (Nagy is at fault here too) He is part of the problem, but not the entire problem. He does not get a free pass here and shouldn't get one either. He hasn't earned it.

He also has not earned a new deal yet either. Bears should not excercise his 5th year option either. Let him play out his 4th year and then negotiate. Do not do an Emry and extend him like they did with Cutler, based solely off potential and could be's.

Case in point.

******

Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15
By Bryan Perez December 12, 2019 9:35 PM

The Bears have completely flipped the narrative of their 2019 season over the last three weeks, thanks in large part to Matt Nagy's offense finally resembling the 202-level that was promised last summer.

It may have taken quarterback Mitch Trubisky a little longer than expected to arrive this year, but if his last two games are an indication of his development in his second season under Nagy's tutelage, the Bears have a bonafide quarterback. And it's been a while since that could be said.

"Mitchell Trubisky is hot, there's no doubt about it," NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said Thursday. "He seems so much more comfortable. Decisive. He's accurate with the football. Running around at the proper time. I don't think it was all Mitchell Trubisky's fault with the struggles of the offense, either."

Those struggles spanned the first half of 2019 when Chicago seemed incapable of sustaining drives or scoring points. It began with Week 1's three-point output against the Packers and continued through Thanksgiving Day when Trubisky finally got his mojo back, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions.

With Trubisky clicking, and the running game receiving a jolt from rookie David Montgomery's productive back-to-back weeks (in which he's averaged more than four yards per carry in successive games for the first time all year), the Bears appear capable of beating just about anyone. 

They'll need to. If Chicago wants to keep their weak playoff pulse going, they have to win out. And that includes games against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. 

The odds seem stacked against them, and it's their own fault. It took way too long to get the offense going, but it's better late than never. 

According to Simms, the Bears are that team no one wants to play.

"They're a dangerous team right now. They really are."

Charles Leno, Jr. and Cody Whitehair are SOLID!

2021 is the year the Bears put it all together! (2020 is a scrub)

Go Bears!

 

The Shadow
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POST COUNT: 10478
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Next point.

What Mitchell Trubisky's recent run of success means for the Bears moving forward

by Sean Wagner-McGough
@seanjwagner
20 hrs ago • 16 min read

The Bears might have a problem on their hands. Their quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, is showing signs of life after a mostly comatose opening 10 games to his third season, bringing the Bears to the edge of the playoff picture, and turning what was once a relatively easy decision to move on from him after the season into a more nuanced and complicated one.

In starts 1-10 this season, Trubisky completed 62.2 percent of his passes, averaged 5.8 yards per attempt, threw 10 touchdowns and six interceptions, and posted an 80.5 passer rating. The Bears went 5-5 in that span, a testament to their defense. In his past two starts, Trubisky completed 75.4 percent of his passes, averaged 8.4 yards per attempt, threw six touchdowns and two interceptions, and posted a 116.9 passer rating. The Bears went 2-0 in that span. 

What's also notable is that Trubisky went from averaging 2.2 rushing attempts, 7.6 rushing yards, and 0.1 rushing touchdowns per game in starts 1-10 to averaging seven rushing attempts, 33.5 rushing yards, and 0.5 rushing touchdowns per game in starts 11-12. It's notable because Trubisky's ability and willingness to inflict damage with his legs a year ago is what made him the league's third-best quarterback by total QBR, a metric that takes into account a quarterback's contributions as a runner. Why Trubisky stopped running for most of this season will never quite make sense. Was it due to an injury? Or were the Bears trying to prove he could win from the pocket? 

In short, it's difficult to remain unimpressed when watching the film from the past couple weeks as Trubisky displayed the traits that baited the Bears into trading up one spot for him in the 2017 draft when quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were still available. 

There's the arm:

And there'e the athleticism:

All of this, in the short term, is good news for the Bears. At 4-6 a few weeks ago, the Bears were dead. At 7-6 today, they still need to win out and get some help to qualify for the postseason, but at the very least, they're alive. They have hope. On a far more basic level, it's actually fun to watch the Bears again. For fans of a franchise that never properly appreciated Jay Cutler when they had him and have otherwise seen way too much dreadful quarterback play, don't discount how much that matters. The Bears almost certainly won't make the playoffs -- according to SportsLine simulations conducted by Stephen Oh, their playoff odds reside at three percent -- but at least it doesn't feel like torture to watch them play football. 

What's important is the long term. While Trubisky has played well the past two weeks and has brought temporary hope, the Bears cannot use these two games as evidence that he's still their future franchise quarterback. Trubisky has played well, but so many of his throws are the kinds of throws that NFL quarterbacks are supposed to be able to make nine out of 10 times. Trubisky has played well, but it's not like he's never played well before. He's done this exact same thing before -- as recently as last December. It's what he's done for most of his young career. 

He's always been capable of stringing together a few quality performances. What he's always lacked is consistency on both a throw-to-throw and game-to-game basis. Even in his past two performances, he's demonstrated his inconsistencies with two of the uglier interceptions you'll see all season.

The first occurred because he didn't pull the trigger when Allen Robinson immediately gained separation.

The second happened because he refused to throw the ball away and instead tried to make an impossible pass. 

Last December, Trubisky strung together a three-game stretch to close the regular season that most Bears fans pointed to as evidence of his ascent. Against the Packers, 49ers, and Vikings, Trubisky completed 75.9 percent of his passes, averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, and posted a 109.7 passer rating. It turns out, though, that three-game stretch wasn't a sign of progress. It was merely a fluke. Chances are, this current stretch, however long it extends, is also a fluke.

He's always been an inconsistent quarterback, capable of hitting such great heights (remember when he threw six touchdowns against the Buccaneers last year?) and sinking to the lowest of lows (see: the first 10 games of this season). The question coming into this season was if he would finally be able to become a consistently adequate quarterback. Regardless of what he does between now and January, the answer to that question is no.

You'd think, given their history, Bears fans would be used to this kind of thing. Back in 2013, Josh McCown pieced together one of the best four-game stretches by a backup ever when he filled in for an injured Jay Cutler and threw nine touchdowns and one interception. Throughout that entire season, in five starts and eight total appearances, McCown threw 13 touchdowns and only one pick. There were some who wanted the team to sign McCown, not Cutler, to a long-term deal. Obviously, we all know that McCown did not maintain that level of production in Tampa Bay, New York or Philadelphia. Every NFL quarterback is capable of stringing together a good stretch every now and then.

It's OK to enjoy Trubisky's success and to praise him for improving. I even think it's OK for the Bears to bring him back next year considering he only carries a cap hit of $9.2 million. But what the Bears can't do is look at the past two games and whatever happens in the final three games and decide he's shown enough signs of progress to be still considered their future franchise quarterback. 

They can bring him back, but they also need to bring in another viable option. This year's quarterback market figures to be deep, with quarterbacks like Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, and Jameis Winston (*gulp*) potentially available. Even though the Bears are lacking a first-round pick, they'll have options. And really, that's what this comes down to: giving themselves more options.

Trubisky might still be an option. With an affordable contract, they can afford to keep him around to find out. But they can't make Trubisky their only option. With a still Super Bowl-caliber defense, depending on Trubisky to do something he's never done before -- be a consistently adequate quarterback -- would be malpractice. Trubisky is playing well right now, but the Bears can't be tricked into thinking he's turned the corner. It's more likely this is an aberration.

Charles Leno, Jr. and Cody Whitehair are SOLID!

2021 is the year the Bears put it all together! (2020 is a scrub)

Go Bears!

 

me654
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Nagy is completely responsible for Mitchs struggles.....in fact Nagy was completely responsible for the oline and most of everyones struggles,the dude got cocky (still is imo), was not leading his guys and his refusal to scrap shit ass goofy plays that will not work is a problem too. Ill give him this though, he has finally started calling plays to the strength of the players he has. but i still dont completely trust him.

Im also putting Howards trading on him as well even though initially I fell for the "doesnt fit his system" mantra. they were winning and it hid the fact that he was just FOS. His gimmicky style sucks period. I think Nagy can be a great but he also seems to be using the Bears as for his experimental play calling BS. He gets his head out of his ass and lets him play, Pace provided him some pretty good talent all around. 

"Jay Cutler can throw a football and cut it through the elements as well as anyone out there. Arm talent immense, the upside you love it. The reason I'm critical is I wish I had it"-Trent Dilfer

Corn Cob
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Matt Nagy: "I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot."

The Shadow
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me654 wrote:

Nagy is completely responsible for Mitchs struggles.....in fact Nagy was completely responsible for the oline and most of everyones struggles,the dude got cocky (still is imo), was not leading his guys and his refusal to scrap shit ass goofy plays that will not work is a problem too. Ill give him this though, he has finally started calling plays to the strength of the players he has. but i still dont completely trust him.

Im also putting Howards trading on him as well even though initially I fell for the "doesnt fit his system" mantra. they were winning and it hid the fact that he was just FOS. His gimmicky style sucks period. I think Nagy can be a great but he also seems to be using the Bears as for his experimental play calling BS. He gets his head out of his ass and lets him play, Pace provided him some pretty good talent all around. 

Wow, how can one guy be responsible for the failure of many? He is part of the problem, but not all of it. So by your estimation, Mitch is a Hall of Fame QB with no flaws in his game and it is Nagy making him  make bad throws and decisions? It is also Nagy's fault that Massie sucks and Leno had regressed??? Okay, by your evaluations here, simply firing Nagy the Bears should have a dynasty and win at least 6 Super Bowls over the next 10 years?

Charles Leno, Jr. and Cody Whitehair are SOLID!

2021 is the year the Bears put it all together! (2020 is a scrub)

Go Bears!

 

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