Another up-and-down Mitch Trubisky effort offers little in the way of clarity

SHARE Another up-and-down Mitch Trubisky effort offers little in the way of clarity

The Seahawks’ Bradley McDougald tips Mitch Trubisky’s pass in the second quarter Monday night. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Bears were playing the Seahawks on Monday night, yet Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hovered over the proceedings at Soldier Field like a drone.

So unfair. Also, so true.

Mahomes threw six touchdown passes against the Steelers on Sunday, giving him 10 touchdown passes in the first two games of the season. This can’t be overstated: Mitch Trubisky has not thrown 10 TDs in two games.

The Bears traded up to get Trubisky with the second overall pick of the 2017 draft. The Chiefs traded up to get Mahomes with the 10th pick of the 2017 draft.

Trubisky’s every move has been watched since he got to Chicago. Now his every move is being watched through a Mahomes prism.

It’s not good when you’re watching Bears-Seahawks and you think, “Mahomes makes that throw.” It is likewise not good when you’re watching a Bears game and you think, “I remember Jay Cutler throwing that exact same interception.”

But then Trubisky rolls out to his left and throws a strike to rookie receiver Anthony Miller for a 10-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and you chide yourself for your football shallowness.

Trubisky was up and down in the Bears’ 24-17 victory. He led a 10-play, 96-yard drive that ended with a three-yard shuffle pass to Trey Burton. He looked sharp on the drive, especially on a 17-yard scramble. He looked in control.

Then he went south the rest of the first half, tossing two interceptions, one on an underthrow and another on a tipped pass. He easily could have had another interception late in the half, when, under pressure, he tried to force a throw into the end zone.

“I’m trying to get over dwelling on plays too much,” he said. “I think it’s hurt me more than it’s helped me.”

He finished 25-for-34 for 200 yards and two touchdowns, his first TD passes of the season. And there were those two interceptions he doesn’t want to dwell on.


• Another up-and-down Mitch Trubisky effort offers little in the way of clarity

• First NFL start a learning experience for Bears rookie Roquan Smith

“I’m really proud with how he handled himself from Play 1 to the end of that fourth quarter,” coach Matt Nagy said. “Every time, after any play, good or bad . . . he was phenomenal. His attitude was great. He didn’t worry about anything. That’s growth right there. That makes me happy to know that he understands that, hey, there are going to be interceptions.”

What does it all mean, besides that a portion of the Bears’ fan base is looking even more askance at general manager Ryan Pace than it already has been? It means as much as you want it to mean. If you’re of the mind that two games into Trubisky’s second season is too early to panic, it doesn’t mean much. If you’re of the mind that Trubisky is engaged in an arms war with Mahomes, it means air-raid sirens are going off in your world — a cold, cratered world populated by sad people in orange long underwear.

It’s not fair to be asking for greatness out of Trubisky yet. It’s absolutely fair to expect more good play than bad out of him. That hasn’t happened yet. He was off-target on several passes Monday night. He completed a lot of passes that a lot of NFL quarterbacks can complete.

That’s where we’re at with Mitch Trubisky.

He had a nice first half against the Packers in Week 1, then looked very much like a guy who hasn’t played in the NFL for very long. Against the Seahawks, he didn’t have the problem with happy feet in the pocket that he did against Green Bay. So there was some progress.

There were too many east-west calls from Nagy when going straight down the middle was the way to go. The design of the offense has not looked special yet. It looks like it’s built for getting a lead and sitting on it. Either Nagy is more conservative than he lets on, or his confidence in Trubisky is a few quarts low.

But that’s not why his quarterback struggled in the first half. He didn’t take advantage of the opportunities in front of him. The Seahawks gave up 470 yards of total offense in a Week 1 loss to the Broncos. They were without five starters Monday, including receiver Doug Baldwin, a Pro Bowl selection the last two seasons. This is certainly not the Seahawks team that won the 2013 Super Bowl.

Two games into this season, we have no better idea of what Trubisky is than we did at this time last season. Should we know? Maybe the better question is this: Can we extrapolate from 14 NFL starts where this guy is going to be next season — or in five seasons? The answers are no and no.

The Bears insist they’ve seen potential greatness in Trubisky. It’d be nice if they shared it with the rest of the class.

“This is going to be fun — it really is,” Nagy said. “I’m excited for our future together.”

Maybe Trubisky’s learning progression will be slower than Mahomes’. Or perhaps Mahomes will be a flare that lights up the sky for a while before burning out. It’s much too early to know.

And that’s the problem: We want to know now.

The Latest
Alex Lyon stopped all 28 shots in the 4-0 victory in Game 5
State Sen. Darren Bailey had been seeking Trump’s endorsement for months. The downstate farmer met with Trump last year and attended a fundraiser in April in which he snapped a photo with the former president.
Offense has scored three runs in its last three losses to the Orioles, who entered Saturday’s game with a 4.10 ERA - 12th in the AL
“The risk to residents of suburban Cook County remains low, but we want individuals to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox so that they seek medical care if they develop,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, CCDPH chief operating officer.