A huge reason for the exasperation with Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s meandering development is the rise of MVP Patrick Mahomes and possible future MVP Deshaun Watson.
They went 10th and 12th, respectively, in 2017 after Bears general manager Ryan Pace traded up to take Trubisky at No. 2, and they’re already miles ahead. The Chiefs and Texans don’t wonder if they have franchise quarterbacks. They know.
And while that disparity grows larger and more maddening each week, it gets even worse for the Bears as new quarterbacks from subsequent draft classes overtake Trubisky, as well. One of them — Daniel Jones, the sixth pick in the 2019 draft — will be at Soldier Field on Sunday when the Bears face the Giants.
Nine games into his career, Jones is putting together a better season than Trubisky, who is nine games into Year 3. He is one of eight quarterbacks from the 2017, ’18 and ’19 drafts who have a higher passer rating than Trubisky’s 82.2.
“[Jones is] a very smart quarterback who’s going to make good decisions,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “It’s never easy coming in as a rookie to produce, and there’s growing pains. The stuff I’ve seen from him, I know he’s going to have a bright future.”
Jones, who has an 88.0 passer rating, puts up nearly 45 more yards per game than Trubisky, who ranks last in yardage per game (175.6) and pass (5.6). Jones has thrown 15 touchdown passes to Trubisky’s nine. He has three 300-yard games already as Trubisky seeks his first of 2019.
Mahomes, of course, does it virtually every week, and Watson isn’t far behind, but Ravens second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson has been a worthy peer this season with a 106.3 passer rating and is a redoubtable throwing-running threat. He was a first-round pick the year after Trubisky. Good luck fighting back jealousy while watching him Monday night against the Rams.
The top pick this year, Kyler Murray, has shown flashes of potential despite playing on a dreadful Cardinals team. He has broken 300 yards four times, one fewer than Trubisky’s career total, and has outpaced him in every category.
The one positive in Trubisky’s season is that he has thrown only four interceptions in 282 throws, but Murray (five in 393) and Jaguars sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew (four in 307) have been sharper.
Bills second-year quarterback Josh Allen and Steelers 2018 third-rounder Mason Rudolph aren’t blowing anyone away, but both are ahead of Trubisky in passer rating, yardage and touchdowns.
There are four other young QBs with at least 100 attempts this year, all from the 2018 class: the Browns’ Baker Mayfield (No. 1), the Jets’ Sam Darnold (No. 3), the Dolphins’ Josh Rosen (No. 10) and the Panthers’ Kyle Allen (undrafted). Trubisky has a higher passer rating than any of them, but Mayfield seems to be heating up and could catch him with one or two big games.
From a viewing perspective, many of the quarterbacks from the last three classes — beyond the obvious in Mahomes and Watson — are must-see players. Murray nearly ran for 100 yards in a game, Josh Allen makes gutsy throws and runs like a truck, Mayfield is a live wire and Jackson is better than Netflix.
At the same time, the Bears have taken some of the life out of Trubisky’s game. He went from 30 rushing yards per game last season to becoming almost exclusively a pocket passer, which hardly seems to be his strength.
It’s not going well, and it’s not entertaining to watch. Meanwhile, other teams keep finding instant hits.