Bears endure more ‘that can’t happen’ moments from Mitch Trubisky in loss to Chargers
The final sequence was a disaster by Matt Nagy and Eddy Pineiro, but Trubisky’s errors put them in that situation.
Mitch Trubisky just wanted to get out of here, but he hit one last snag.
It was finally over — not his maddening misadventure in the Bears’ 17-16 loss to the Chargers, but the press conference full of questions about it. And when he tried to leave, the door to the locker room was locked. He was stuck.
No, they didn’t deactivate his keycard. Trubisky is still the Bears’ starting quarterback, and someone finally let him in. But you had to wonder for a moment after his latest flop.
The argument against the Bears betting their future on him solidifies weekly. He was resolute after a brutal performance last week, then unraveled against the Chargers with an interception and a non-contact lost fumble in the fourth quarter.
Matt Nagy’s botched game management leading up to the final play, a missed field goal from 41 yards, decimated any hope for a resuscitation of the season. But Trubisky could’ve spared his coach that quagmire and buried the Chargers earlier.
At least he knows it.
“There was a lot of plays out there where I could have been better and helped my team,” Trubisky said. “And maybe we aren’t [or] maybe we are in that situation at the end, but bottom line was we had a chance, and you’d like to come through. But next time.”
Next time, what? There is little basis to believe next time will be significantly better.
Trubisky threw away a fine first half by his standards — 13 of 20, 131 yards, no turnovers, which is what most teams hope they’ll get from their backup in a pinch — and settled at a final passer rating of 75.1 after completing 23 of 35 for 253 yards with a pick.
Passer rating isn’t everything, but guess how many times Patrick Mahomes has turned in a 75 or worse. Once. Trubisky has three just this season.
It was the third time in five games he failed to throw a touchdown pass. He has connected for five, three coming in one quarter against a terrible Redskins defense and two during garbage time of a blowout loss to the Saints.
This was a prime opportunity for redemption.
It far from artful to begin with, but the Bears took a 16-7 lead midway through the third quarter when David Montgomery burst into the end zone on a 4-yard run.
The Bears gave up a field goal on the ensuing possession, but up six with the ball at the start of the fourth quarter is still a good place to be.
It was, anyway, until Trubisky stared down tight end Trey Burton on the right sideline and fired a pass that was easily picked off by Chargers safety Casey Hayward. That gave them the ball at the Bears’ 20-yard line.
“I don’t blame people,” Burton said. “I ran the route. I saw the ball. The guy jumped in front of me and caught it.”
The defense bailed Trubisky out of that one by driving the Chargers back, and Chase McLaughlin missed a 41-yard field goal, but he torpedoed the Bears again on the next possession.
Right after he overthrew Taylor Gabriel on a deep ball that would’ve been a touchdown, Trubisky imploded. Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa drove left tackle Charles Leno into him, and as he tried to spin away for space, Trubisky simply lost control of the ball. The Chargers recovered and scored the go-ahead touchdown three plays later.
“I’ve got to have two hands on the ball when I’m leaving the pocket,” Trubisky said. “I put my hand down, and one second I had it and then I didn’t. That can’t happen.”
How many that-can’t-happen moments are people expected to tolerate? Probably another nine games’ worth, at least. There’s minimal chance Nagy will make a quarterback change, so the Bears will keep riding with Trubisky no matter how many times he drives them into a ditch.