Here’s betting that Mitch Trubisky will be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2020. Should he be? No.

The team will bring in lesser competition, and Trubisky still will be standing when the dust settles.

SHARE Here’s betting that Mitch Trubisky will be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2020. Should he be? No.
Both Bears coach Matt Nagy (left) and quarterback Mitch Trubisky need big games in the last three weeks of the season.

Bears coach Matt Nagy congratulates quarterback Mitch Trubisky after a second-quarter touchdown Thursday night against the Cowboys.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Should Mitch Trubisky be the Bears’ starting quarterback next season?

Will he be the Bears’ starting quarterback next season?

Two very different questions.

I’m not a betting man, but if you forced me to wager under threat of being tube-fed for the rest of my life, I’d bet money that when the Bears open the 2020 season, Trubisky will be under center.

He shouldn’t be, but my guess is he will be.

There might be a bit more support in town for Mitch 2020 after his excellent performance in the Bears’ 31-24 victory Thursday against the Cowboys. He threw three touchdown passes and rushed 10 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. That will give the Bears even more impetus to stay the course. Staying the course is in their corporate bones.

For years, presumably as divine punishment, I’ve been forced to watch how the Bears operate. So I think I can see the future: They will sign or acquire another quarterback to compete for the starting job, much will be made of the training-camp battle between Trubisky and his would-be successor and, when the dust settles, Mitch still will be standing.

For those of us who have seen all we need to see out of Trubisky, the maddening question will be: Why? Why would the Bears, after watching him be consistently mediocre for three seasons, be unwilling to make a change?

Answer: Because they’re the Bears.

Because they have too much bound up in the kid — too much pride, too much time and too much of their livelihoods.

Because general manager Ryan Pace staked his career with the Bears on Trubisky when he shocked the NFL by trading up a spot to take him with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Because ownership doesn’t like change. The McCaskeys aren’t quite as allergic to change as White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is, but they don’t know football and they don’t like to go through searches for coaches and GMs.

The team’s campaign to rehabilitate Trubisky’s image never really has stopped, but it ramped up in a big way in recent weeks. Coach Matt Nagy is a dedicated massager of public perception. A month ago, many people had left Trubisky for dead. But he put together some nice stats against some extremely bad defenses, allowing Nagy to tell one and all that his quarterback was making progress. Nagy pushed that storyline hard enough that some people started to go along with it. Normally clear-thinking people. People who should know better.

The victory Thursday gave the pro-Mitch crowd a spring in its collective step. Here was Trubisky, playing well against a tougher defense. And now he had ‘‘stacked’’ victories against the Lions (twice), the Giants and the Cowboys. So his backers were calling Thursday a told-you-so game.

Told me what? That Trubisky isn’t what all those bad games in his past say he is? I don’t think so.

If you want to accuse me of not giving credit where credit is due after his nice work Thursday, fine. But it’s hard to erase the bad passes we’ve seen, hard to ignore the ghosts of Mitch-misses past. That counts for more than several good games in a five-week span.

The Bears have three tough games left — at the Packers, at home against the Chiefs and at the Vikings. Afterward, we should have a much better idea of whether Trubisky has made progress. But here’s the kicker: It probably won’t matter one way or the other.

Even if he looks like his usual, so-so self, time tends to take the edge off anger. When training camp rolls around in 2020, some of the fury about Trubisky’s 2019 performances will have subsided. And Nagy will continue to build up his quarterback, the way he did in camp this year, despite the fact that Trubisky’s play was very uneven in Bourbonnais.

If the Bears are serious about getting back to the playoffs, they need to be serious about finding someone to replace Trubisky. A healthy Akiem Hicks would give the Bears the chance to have an elite defense again. My guess is that Pace and Nagy already have fooled themselves into thinking the 2018 version of Trubisky will be good enough to make the Bears winners again.

They’ll convince themselves the 2019 Mitch was a fluke when there’s a distinct possibility that version was the real Mitch.

Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater is better than Trubisky. In Drew Brees’ absence this season, Bridgewater went 5-0 (including a victory against the Bears), completed 69.7 percent of his passes and had a 103.7 passer rating. He’ll be a free agent after the season. He’d be perfect for the Bears.

But while I’m in prediction mode, I have another one for you: I’ll bet Pace purposely will avoid finding a quarterback who is better than his pet project.

That leads to the obvious question:

Will Mike Glennon have the same training-camp dorm room in 2020 that he had in 2017?

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