3 big games and a chance for the Bears’ Mitch Trubisky to change a certain columnist’s mind for good
I promise that if Trubisky runs and throws his way through this Great Wall of quality opponents, my unbelief will turn to belief.
It’s a big week here at WTRU — 1010 on your AM dial — where, if we’re not talking about what we think of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, we’re talking about what coach Matt Nagy thinks of Mitch Trubisky.
Our Mitch-centric-ness might strike you as obsessive, bordering on restraining order-worthy, but right now, the Bears are the only game in town, Trubisky is the only story and, oh, yeah, it’s Packers week. The Bears have to win against their archrivals in Green Bay on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive. I don’t want to say those hopes are slim, but there are a lot of people blowing on a single, faint ember.
The Bears need to win their final three games — against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings — to have a chance at the postseason. That means the Trubisky who came out of nowhere last Thursday to help the Bears beat the Cowboys with three touchdown passes and one touchdown run has to be front and center. He has to be very good to great for his team to win.
I don’t think he can do it.
But if he can, he’ll change at least one very stubborn mind.
I promise that if Trubisky runs and throws his way through this Great Wall of quality opponents, my unbelief will turn to belief. Or, to put it in a way that should make a lot of people happy, I’ll shut up. My wife wants to know if I can broaden this vow beyond Trubisky or, short of that, whether we could establish regular quiet hours.
Even Mitch’s most ardent admirers have to admit that the “progress” a gushing Nagy said his quarterback had made in the weeks before the Cowboys game was against weak competition. Victories against the Lions (twice) and the Giants didn’t have a lot of nutritional value. That’s why his performance against the Cowboys was so noteworthy. He rushed 10 times for 63 yards, turning the Bears’ offense into something it hadn’t been in ages: dangerous.
Now let’s see him do it again.
And again and again.
If he does, you won’t hear a peep of cynicism from me about Trubisky. The Bears will have their quarterback for 2020 without any resistance from these parts. The World Anti-Doping Agency will announce I’ve tested positive for positivity.
You might think I’ve set the bar ridiculously high. Trubisky’s team is 7-6. His next three opponents are 10-3, 9-4 and 9-4, respectively. Sure, Rick, ask him to do the impossible. Build a mountain he can’t possibly climb. But great quarterbacks carry their teams in big games. These are the exact moments when stars show themselves. It’s why, if Trubisky is great against three difficult teams, all the past criticism will melt away. In the back of our minds, some of us might still be wondering what happened to him in the first two months of the season, but all we’ll be talking about is the corner he turned when it mattered.
That phrase “turning a corner” — how often has it been applied to Trubisky after a nice game the last three seasons? Too often. That alone should tell you it’s buyer beware when it comes to Mitch and corner-turning. But three victories in a row against playoff contenders? That would be a hard left off the path of mediocrity he has been on for so long.
Again: Can he do it? Again: I don’t think so. But if he’s able to lead the Bears past the first-place Packers at Lambeau Field, if he’s able to do what Aaron Rodgers always seems to do against the Bears, it would be a huge boost for Trubisky’s confidence. It would take some of the pressure off the final two games, especially the Chiefs game Dec. 22. Heading into that matchup, the anti-Mitch crowd would still be wailing its Patrick Mahomes draft laments, but perhaps not as loudly.
I know what a compelling story looks like. Whether you like it or not, the general manager of an NFL team gambling and apparently losing on an inexperienced college quarterback near the top of the draft is a compelling story.
That same quarterback coming back from the near-dead would be even more compelling.
So, three games against three very good teams in three weeks. A tall task, indeed. But if Trubisky aces it, what a story that would be. There would be something real to build on — not spin or crossed fingers.
Let’s see if you’ve got it, kid. I’d gladly move on from the dark tale that has been told to date.